Jerry-Built and Jury-Rigged

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Jerry-Built and Jury-Rigged :

Although their etymologies are obscure and their meanings overlap, these are two distinct expressions. Something poorly built is “jerry-built.”

Something rigged up temporarily in a makeshift manner with materials at hand, often in an ingenious manner, is “jury-rigged.”

“Jerry-built” always has a negative connotation, whereas one can be impressed by the cleverness of a jury-rigged solution.

Many people cross-pollinate these two expressions and mistakenly say “jerry-rigged” or “jury-built.”

Common Errors Index

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