A kludge is anything that's put together in a sloppy, complicated way--but it works!
KLOOGE (rhymes with "huge")
Part of speech:
Usually a countable noun.
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one kludge or multiple kludges.)
Dictionaries say you can use "kludge" as a verb, too, as in "just kludge this and move on," but that use seems rare.
How to use it:
A kludge, like a mishmash or a hodgepodge, is often ridiculous--so you tend to use this word to be funny and slightly critical at the same time. It popped up in computer slang in the 1960's before bumbling into general usage. So you'll often call something a kludge when it's related to hardware, software, programming languages, etc., but more generally, any type of system that somehow gets the job done despite being messy, complicated, and totally inelegant can be called a kludge.
You might simply call something a kludge, or call it a kludge of certain parts or a kludge for achieving some goal.
Add an adjective if you like: a ginormous kludge, an ineffective kludge, this temporary kludge, the mind-boggling kludge, etc.
If you read "kludge" phonetically, you'll mispronounce it with a short "u" as if it rhymes with "budge." It doesn't. The right vowel sound is a long "u:" rhyme "kludge" with "huge."
Don't do that "view source" thing on my web pages or you'll see how my coding is one big kludge ofexternal and in-line CSS plus lots of outdated HTML elements.
He takes a zillion pain pills every day, avoids putting pressure on one foot, and leaves thirty minutes early for every meeting so he can slowly hobble in. Why doesn't he just skip this kludge and see a doctor?
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "kludge" means when you can explain it without saying “workaround" or "patchy solution."
Think of a process you think should be much simpler, and fill in the blanks: "You've got to admit that (a particular system or process) is a kludge when _____."
Example: "You've got to admit that airport security is a kludge when salespeople try to peddle 'fast passes' as you're waiting in an agonizingly long line."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
We’re starting off with easy questions, then working our way toward some whoppers at the end of the month, all the while focusing on funny, unusual words; surprising word histories; and cool tidbits about the language.
Match these highly practical and specific words to their meanings below: canals, beadlets, attelets, baize, wreath.
1. _____: the green material that covers a billiards table
2. _____: a single turn or coil of a coiled thing
3. _____: the small time-release balls in capsules
4. _____: the holes in a sponge
5. _____: the small thin top-ornamented skewers used decoratively for serving sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres
1. Baize: the green material that covers a billiards table
2. Wreath: a single turn or coil of a coiled thing
3. Beadlets: the small time-release balls in capsules
4. Canals: the holes in a sponge
5. Attelets: the small thin top-ornamented skewers used decoratively for serving sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres
Try this one today:
The English word “cam_ _ _ _ _ _ _” derives from a French term meaning “a puff of smoke.” What English word is it?
A Point Well Made:
Ron Sider: "The crucial test [of whether a rich nation is righteous] is whether the prosperous are obeying God's command to bring justice to the oppressed."
1. The closest opposites of KLUDGE are
A. NEATNESS and FAIRNESS
B. BEAUTY and TRUTH
C. ELEGANCE and SIMPLICITY
2. The media generally portrayed the new legislation as an immense kludge, saying it _____.
A. failed to take into consideration the needs of small but vocal minorities
B. only complicated an already baffling and poorly enforced system
C. polarized the nation while achieving only middling results
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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