Posted by TheFallen on September 15, 2002
In Reply to: jerry built. posted by Ed Stansell on September 15, 2002
: My take on this
is that it comes from "jury rigged", which means something that has been constucted
in a makeshift way. Not really done right. You can see how jury could easily become
jerry, and since it regards the construction of something, ergo: built. I'm satisfied
with this even if no one else is.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, jerry-built is not related by origin to jury-rigged, but stems from a dialect term "jerry", meaning defective. Jury-built has connotations of both emergency and necessity about it. However, confusion between the two phrases has given rise to a hybrid expression, namely "jerry-rigged". The following three pastes make this assertion clear.
To build shoddily, flimsily, and cheaply.
ETYMOLOGY: From dialectal jerry, defective, perhaps from the name Jerry.
JURY-RIG (verb): To rig or assemble for temporary emergency
use; improvise: The survivors of the wreck jury-rigged some fishing gear.
ETYMOLOGY: From jury-rig, jury-rigging, improvised rigging on a ship, modeled on jury-mast, temporary mast, perhaps ultimately from Old French ajurie, help, from aider, to help.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration (influenced by jerry-build) of jury-rig.