jerry-built

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

  • A pejorative of unknown origin concerning 'Jerry'
  • or a derivation of 'jury-rigged', which is from nautical term for a short-term replacement of the mast and yards. This is less likely as it seems to be an American English formation of later dating.

Adjective[edit]

jerry-built

  1. Built cheaply and shoddily.
    • 1859, August 6, Albany Fonblanque, Junr., Once a Week, article Sebastopol Villa:
      He had tried other building speculations, had run up other “jerry-built” houses, and had failed utterly, hopelessly.
    • 1859, L. B. E., Cottoniron; a Poem, part 1, canto 3:
      Reigns supreme for jerry-built
      Houses tricked out with gorgeous gilt,
      Like cakes o' gingerbread, that crumble,
      And in another century 'll tumble

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]