Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A system, especially a computer system, that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications.
  • noun A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun electronics engineering an improvised device, usually crudely constructed. Typically used to test the validity of a principle before doing a finished design.
  • noun general any construction or practice, typically inelegant, designed to solve a problem temporarily or expediently.
  • verb to build or use a kludge

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a badly assembled collection of parts hastily assembled to serve some particular purpose (often used to refer to computing systems or software that has been badly put together)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Probably alteration of mid-20th century American military slang kluge, complex device with a simple function, perhaps of imitative origin or perhaps after the Kluge (paper feeder), a piece of printing equipment first manufactured in 1919 by Brandtjen & Kluge, Inc., and reputedly difficult to repair.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps from British military slang, possibly based on Scots word kludge or kludgie ("common toilet") or from the German klug ("clever"); possibly related to Polish and Russian klucz ("a key, a hint, a main point")

Examples

  • A kludge is a marginal adaptation that compensates for, but does not eliminate fundamental design inefficiencies.

    Kludge: The Science? « PurpleSlog – Awesomeness & Modesty Meets Sexy

  • G.W. Turner University of Adelaide As an electrical engineer involved with computers, I'm quite familiar with the word kludge [IX, 2].

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol IX No 3

  • When it reached a timeline with different physical laws, a kludge was added to make it operate there.

    Wednesday, slow Wednesday

  • In engineering, a kludge is a workaround using unrelated parts cobbled together.

    Firedoglake » 33%: Cutting Into The Base

  • A sender might agree to fix the problem with a hack or kludge “a kludge is a crock that works,” went one definition, if he had the time.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • For one thing, a separate computer to carry out the switching functions removed the burdensome kludge a kludge is an inelegant solution to a technical problem that could result from adding those functions to the host computer.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • A sender might agree to fix the problem with a hack or kludge “a kludge is a crock that works,” went one definition, if he had the time.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • For one thing, a separate computer to carry out the switching functions removed the burdensome kludge a kludge is an inelegant solution to a technical problem that could result from adding those functions to the host computer.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • A kludge is a term of derision for either hardware or software that is put together awkwardly, like a "lash-up" or a "jury-rig."

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol IX No 3

  • Should I have costly gender reassignment surgery, or simply stick with my OEM equipment and work out some sort of inexpensive "kludge"?

    Archive 2010-09-01

Comments

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  • ‘An ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole’ (Granholm); esp. in Computing, a machine, system, or program that has been improvised or ‘bodged’ together; a hastily improvised and poorly thought-out solution to a fault or ‘bug’. (OED online) Hence, kludgemanship.

    February 6, 2007

  • see kludge at the jargon file

    see kludgie

    December 8, 2008