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  • From "jury mast," a nautical term for a temporary mast made from any available spar after a permanent mast has been broken or lost overboard. The word "jury" in this case probably derives from the Old French ajurie, "help" or "relief," from Latin adiutare, "to aid." The phrase now refers to something that has been assembled haphazardly or in a makeshift manner.

    December 6, 2007