From US military slang, possibly from German klug (“clever”), or perhaps from Dutch Low Saxon klütje (“(little) dumpling, clod”), Jutland Danish klyt (“piece of bad workmanship, klud(g)e”); compare and standard Danish kludder (“mess, disorder”). (Compare klutz.)
kluge (plural kluges)
- Something that should not work, but does.
- A device assembled from components intended for disparate purposes.
- Today, kluge and kludge are often used as alternative spellings of the same word, although a distinction in usage can perhaps be detected: in the UK, the connotation of kludge is almost wholly negative (as befits its alleged derivation), while US usage of kluge, following its alleged German derivation, admits some fondness or admiration for the cleverness or functionality underlying a working klu(d)ge.
- (something that should not work but does): see Thesaurus:workaround
- Alternative form of
Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.