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Clumsy fix or clever improvisation?

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May 18, 2013, 20:18
Robert Arvanitis
Clumsy fix or clever improvisation?
Great technical discussion at ArsTechnica on switches and routers, which called Cisco's IOS a "kluge."

Initial inquiry found differing senses for "kludge," meaning a clumsy fix, versus "kluge," where the improvisation gets at least grudging admiration.

So is it from a Germanic root for "clod," or "clever?

Cultural cognates include "redneck repairs" and "jerry-rigged."

May 19, 2013, 01:59
Wikipedia suggests different origins for the two spellings, USA and British English, which have since become conflated. They don't seem to differentiate between the two spellings.

The original meanings might have been slightly different, though.

Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
May 19, 2013, 07:13

The Jargon File (the goto dictionary of nerdy slang) suggests that kludge is the incorrect spelling of kluge, the proper term). The latter entry goes over many suggestions of origin and etymology.

Ceci n'est pas un seing.
May 19, 2013, 21:27
From one of those links:
[from the German ‘klug’, clever; poss. related to Polish & Russian ‘klucz’ (a key, a hint, a main point)]
Is this where klutz originated?
May 20, 2013, 08:01
Is this where klutz originated?

Nope. Klutz is from Yiddish קלאץ (klots) < Old High German kloz 'block, lump', cf. English clot, Old English clott. (Note that Polish klucz is pronounced /'klutʃ/ (approximately, in bad English spelling clootch.

Ceci n'est pas un seing.