Saturday, September 13, 2008

A new word my dad brought to my attention:

Say it with me now:
American Heritage Dictionary kludge or kluge (klōōj)
n. Slang
  1. A system, especially a computer system, that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications.
  2. A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem.

  3. [From ironic use of earlier kluge, smart, clever, from spelling pronunciation of German kluge, from Middle High German kluc, from Middle Low German klōk.]
    kludge v., kludg'y adj.
Use it in a sentence:
"My dad was a great kluger. He used to wrap this one fuse that kept blowing in tin foil and then stick it back in. It worked out okay."
My dad taught this word to me. According to my dad and my mom, the word always carries with it a slightly pejorative connotation, even when the kluging is clever and efficacious. Also, add the additional form of the word, kluger, i.e., one who kluges.

I feel this word is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a precious addition to my working vocabulary. I intend to use it several times a day, and urge you to do the same. Remember: everyone needs to kluge, on some level or another. For instance, when I just read this post to my dad, he laughed, and said, "You oughta see the way I've got my television system set up at home." Also, apparently my mom is a talented kluger. Who knew.


  1. Isn't that a great word? Jack used it a few years ago. I was certain he'd made it up, but when he explained its meaning, I could understand completely how it would fit in the maintenance world. When he used it to describe the way various systems at work had been repaired over the years, his boss questioned whether it was a word. Just now, Jack said it is very commonly used in the computer software world--someone writes the software, then adds additional code to fix a bug, and adds more code to fix a bug, until no one can figure out the software. It has been completely kluged! By klugers.

  2. One other thing--in Jack's current job, a mass of kluges are referred to as a clusterf***, which has apparently been used so often that now if someone says, for example, "the heating system in that building is a cluster," everybody knows what he is talking about.

    However, I have not checked the spelling of that one in the dictionary.



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