Talk:Jury rigging

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The first part of this article states that jerry-rig was named after "jerry cans" in WWII (jerry being slang for German), right underneath it says that the WWII explanation is a false etymology. The article should be more internally consistent with its views. -- (talk) 19:37, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Etymology source[edit]

I've removed the cryptic reference to Skeat in Jury rig because it doesn't provide any concrete information. If users Palapala or Prosfilaes (who added or refined the info), or anyone else for that matter, know in what work Skeat (first) provides this argument, please add it back with an appropriate citation in the References section. Thank you. — Jeff Q (talk) 01:11, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Tiger Tanks?[edit]

Maybe panzers in general, but the Tiger tanks, to the best of my knowledge, were Soviet T-34s. You'd expect that with the Soviets also on the scene and also fighting the Germans, that the allied soliders would be taught how to tell the difference between a Nazi and Soviet operated T-34... So I'm changing it to say "Panzer" to generalize it, as the soldiers probably would've known that the Tigers weren't German made.

Tigers were T-34s? I don't think so! In any case, this whole part of the article is a red herring. "Jerry-built" is a separate expression whose history predates the use of the term Jerry for Germans, as the article cited in the reference points out. The use of "jerry-rigged" (including at least twice in the last few months by the otherwise well-edited New Yorker magazine) clearly stems from confusion between the two terms. Skookumpete 22:46, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Jerry-rigged is simply wrong and should be removed from this article. Should Doggy Dog (Dog Eat Dog) and French (Fringe) benefits get some mention? ;-)
And no, Tiger tanks have no similiary to Soviet T-34s other than the fact they are tanks.

Jimberg98 15:01, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Should we change the word "Often"?[edit]

The article says 'Often bastardized in English to "nigger rig" (offensive)'. I'd hardly say that this is "often" given that I've never heard this bastardization in my life. Also, the "in English" part is sort of weak -- what other language are we going to be talking about in the English version of this page, Dutch? My recommendation is that this portion be either dropped entirely, or qualified like 'Sometimes bastardized in the southern United States as...'. I would change it myself, but I am a complete wiki-newbie and thought it might be more polite to post my comment here instead.

I agree. I don't see how this particular portion of the entry is in the best interest of the article. 00:58, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. I've heard the term used by several people and I've used it as well. The term is meant as a joke, so no need to get uppity and politically correct. Infact, suggesting that the term is from the "southern United States" is tantamount to the reason the next guy feels 'nigger rig' as "this particular portion of the entry is in the best interest of the article."

If it's useful information (and I don't think it is; this is not a dictionary, after all), it belongs in the "Other forms" section along with "Jimmy rig". Skookumpete 22:44, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

What is the author trying to say when he uses the word 'attested' in the section discussed herein? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Appropriateness of racial epithets in an encyclopedia[edit]

During recent work on the article, I've refactored what is now the "Similar phrases" section. If you look at the article history there's been quite a few reverts regarding the inclusion the term "nigger-rig" in the article. I completely understand why people reading the article might have a gut reaction and remove it; I too find it offensive. However, given WP guidelines on offensive speech and the term's apparent use in the real world in contexts similar to "jury-rig" or "jerry-rig" it does seem to warrant inclusion on the grounds of relevance.

My feeling is that having a well-written, properly referenced statement about the phrase is the best way to stabilize the article. I have made a first pass at this, but feel free to discuss and improve. Someone with a reputable slang dictionary could help in this regard... --Dfred (talk) 01:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. stuston (talk) 22:58, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

While I understand why the term "nigger rig" would be included in this article, an also why people would want it removed, most usually by knee jerk reaction, my reason for believing it should be removed is different. Frankly, just because the term may exist in some slang somewhere, I believe we can all agree that it is an inappropriate term, which is considered offensive by many, and is incredibly insensitive. I fail to see the relevance the term carries that it be included in an article about a legitimate English phrase. Iamjamieq (talk) 17:15, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

If we're going to include "nigger-rigged", perhaps we should also include "Jap shit" and "Beaner crap"? Come on, folks, there are ENDLESS permutations. The article needs to stay on focus. Proxy User (talk) 23:52, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, "nigger rig" is a very common permutation of "jury rig". I don't like the term any more than you, but the fact that it is commonly used is unquestionable. It is not the place of an encyclopedia or any reference publication to sanitize language or exclude facts simply to avoid offense. I would hope that someday the term becomes so uncommon that there is no need to include such an archaic and offensive slang permutation of "jury rig" in this entry, but unfortunately that time has not come yet, and I think the term "nigger rig" should be included in this article. Simply ignoring the existence of racist terms in a Wikipedia does not do anything to reduce their usage. The exclusion of this information may be with the best of intentions, but it is ultimately misguided. --SmashTheGlass (talk) 14:29, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I was very surprised not to find nigger rigged. Of the alternative terms mentioned, it is the only one I heard growing up in Indiana in the 50s and 60s and it was in very common usage. Somewhere in 70s I started hearing jury rigged and figured it was a new term coined or uncovered to avoid offense. I don't care to know all the decision processes within WP. I am just sharing my surprise. I think I heard jury rigged and jerry rigged appear about the same time and the choice between those two led me here.

This entire website is a joke as long as that stays up. lets be honest. ESPECIALLY without a reference. If you have to think about it that long, racist or otherwise, it needs a reference. The best way to "stabilize" the article is for wikipedia to show some common sense and delete it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:36, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I live in Texas. In my entire life, I have never once heard the phrase "jury rigged." Every single person has said "nigger rigged."

I find it interesting that jerry rigged is used and nigger rigged is not since the later has a wide spread usage. I'm sorry for the insensitive people who keep reverting it but the history of racism won't disappear because you delete it off wiki. Though undoubtedly a lesser ethnic slur jerry is none the less an ethnic slur.It would be inappropriate to name name it and other widely used versions. (talk) 10:22, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I have to concur with some of the previous comments. I live in the St. Louis area, and by far the most common form of this expression is "nigger rigged". On the few occasions I've heard somebody actually use the phrase "jerry rigged", it always seemed like it was a forced politically correct euphemism for the decidedly non-politically correct alternative. Of course, I'm not condoning this practice, nor am I trying to promote the usage of this term in any way -- I'm just commenting on its widespread use. In fact, until I read this article, I always assumed that "jerry rigged" was some sort of recently coined replacement for the other phrase. I had no idea that jury/jerry predated the other. -- Big Brother 1984 (talk) 18:31, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

The phrase "nigger rig" does not belong in this article, but not because it is simply racist but because it is not appropriate in the scope of this article. The inclusion of a word/phrase in the "Similar Phrases" section should depend on whether said phrase has the same meaning. For instance the term "MacGyver" is appropriate because "to MacGyver something" implies using materials in ways that they were not intended much like "Jury Rigging". The term "nigger rig" however implies something completely different, i.e. shoddy workmanship and not simply using materials in unexpected ways. Simply put "Jury Rigging" does not imply any judgement on the final product, whereas the term "nigger rig" most certainly has negative connotations BECAUSE it uses a racial epithet. I'm not saying the term "nigger rig" has no place on wikipedia, but it would be more appropriate on a page discussing racial insults. JCL 16:52, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

I have to disagree with above, it doesn't necessarily mean that. I've heard "jerry rigged" to mean shoddy work as well. I think it should be included, but needs some solid references so it can stick. nezZario (talk) 21:23, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Adding in a link to Google Trends to help show which phrases are most common. It appears that while some of you may live in places where something other than "jerry rig" is common or once was, nationally only "jerry rig" registers at all according to Google.-- (talk) 18:35, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

I grew up outside of Philly. I always used the term 'Jerry-rigged', and I hadn't realized that there was a racist version of it at all. What drew me to this page was being called out by my significant other who 'informed me' that 'jerry-rig' was an offensive term. For me, having a history of the term as well as reference to the racial slang version was useful, and what I was looking for. Has anyone checked the OED for the term 'nigger-rig' in order to determine etymological origins? As a side note, I agree with having solid references surrounding the use of this. Kitty4777 (talk) 01:39, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I've copied the following comment here, from (talk · contribs · WHOIS) who apparently couldn't find the talk page! Kendall-K1 (talk) 14:50, 24 August 2016 (UTC) IVANMICHAELOVITCH: I was using the work computer which, it transpires, has a patronisation filter on it.

IVANMICHAELOVITCH: Tried to, couldn't find it. I could add a long list of racial slurs relating to poor workmanship, plus a couple of misogynist ones, plus at least one relating to homophobia. I think either we include all of the offensive terms or lose the anti-African American one. Since I don't have time to add all of the other abuse, plus references & cultural cross-links, I've deleted the Afro-Engineering one.

Another genuine consideration here is the extent to which Wikipedia is meant to represent a world view. Nigger rig may well be / have been a common epithet in the Southern USA but I'd never heard it in the UK. Heard "Paddy-Rig", meaning something done by an Irishman; and several relating to Indian workmanship. As I said in my note though, we should either include a full list - which would rapidly turn into a list of abuse stereotypes - or none. "Jerry-Rig" BTW is a corruption of "Jury Rig", not an anti-German stereotype. The German stereotype is rather the reverse. "Jury" rig is from the use of Jury in old English to mean a temporary or expedient thing.

Additional information == Trivia section?[edit]

I've removed the following recently added section from the article on same grounds one would remove a Trivia section: WP:TRIVIA... My specific comments are included inline below.

==Additional Information==
  • "Breadboard" or "Breadboarding", from the practise of inventors, usually experimenting with electrics or electronics, of fixing componenets to a flat surface of (non-conductive) wood similar to an actual breadboard until such time as the device can be perfected to the point of application, by which time the mechanism may be given some type of permanent housing, such as a radio case or purpose built shell. The term is now used in the sense of 'knocking together' components into a working machine. Plastic Breadboards are now commercially available, allowing inventors and engineers to construct projects with ease, before mass producing their devices, or simply to make a professional job of a single project.
This information about breadboarding is probably more appropriate in the mock-up or prototype articles rather than here.
  • Cartoonist Heath Robinson and his American counterpart Rube Goldberg are both worthy of mention, as their names have also entered the popular lexicon; Both men devised impractical, fantastic machinary designed to do unlikely tasks, which appeared to be home built contraptions of drain pipes, knotted string etc (rather like the board of the Mouse Trap (board game), actually inspired by Goldberg's work) rather than professional constructions. They are recalled in such phrases as "It's a bit Heath Robinson, but it'll do for now".
My sense is that these Robinson/Golberg solutions are more jerry-built than jury-rigged; often being unnecessarily complex and bordering on ridiculous. Jury rigging indicates a solution to an unexpected or temporary problem. It may be reasonable to add these as items in the "Similar phrases" section. References would be appreciated.
  • MacGuyver. The TV show MacGuyver, whose weekly plots revolved around the eponymous hero using handy materials (as in the A-Team) and a Swiss Army knife to think up practical solutions to deadly problems, has provided the post-modern term 'To Macguyver' a gadget/repair/device etc.
MacGyverisms are referenced in the "See also" section. His makeshift and often elegant (if far-fetched) solutions to problems do seem to fit with jury rigging, perhaps something could be worked into the lead about modern examples of jury rigging.

--Dfred (talk) 03:21, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Who Watches the Watchman ?[edit]

With apologies to all offended parties, I have returned the edits to their rightful place; The article is about the term 'Jury Rig'and is not about interesting knots; I understand how it feels when you have an article site just the way you want it (I really do !) and somebody else adds to "Your" article- when one feels himself to be its 'watchman', as it were. It can be irritating. I understand. However, given the true nature of the article, ie. the meaning of a word and its relevant variations on the same theme, the information is valid and belongs in place, due to its correct context. It is not for us to judge or decide what is or is not relevant because we "Feel" it does not enhance "our" site. The information is a useful addition to the entry, and should stay for that reason. Again, apologies to those who feel offended. It is not my intention to tread on toes or upset those of a sensitive nature.

STEALTH RANGER 09:10, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

It's about the concept of jury rig; adding other stuff bloats the article. It is for every editor to try and reach consensus on what enhances or detracts from the page, and stuff that doesn't enhance the page shouldn't be added.--Prosfilaes 14:23, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

We feel it does in fact add to an overall understanding of the term, and allow people the opportunity to make a comparative examination of similar and relevant terms in order to expand said understanding. For example, somebody wondering about "jerry built" may find their way to the site and realise that "jury rig" isn't the same thing. Similarly, people reading the article may find the "Heath Robinson/Rube Goldberg" reference explanatory, as a term often heard but never understood until pointed in the right direction. When things are linked- unless said link is completely tenuous- these connections deserve to be shown; and Wiki readers desrve to be informed. Its removal demonstrates the worst kind of closed mind "If I didn't say it, it can't be true! stop spoiling my page!!". Such an outlook increases the criticism of Wiki pages as being a 'Fanboy Club' wherein the writers will cling to their opinions regardless of the input of others. The inability to expand and evolve will ulitimately bring about it's own extinction. A tragedy in the making. Consider this, before denying readers the chance to make connections and expand their own understanding, please.

STEALTH RANGER 10:34, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

If they wonder about "jerry built", they'll go to that page. Please read WP:AGF; your arguments are discouraging people from trying to achieve consensus with you. I didn't write this page, but I still think your changes are not an improvement.--Prosfilaes 10:54, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm traveling at the moment and my computer access is somewhat limited, but I'll chime-in here since, apparently, I'm the alleged watchman/fanboy.  :) STEALTH RANGER, I'm sorry I may have caused offense by my move of your work from the article to the talk page. Mainly I was acting on a sense that "general information" sections (e.g. Trivia, Additional information, etc.) rarely are good for articles. Take a look at the WP guidline on why Trivia sections should be avoided. The information you added is informative and potentially useful, but I just thought some of it is probably more appropriate for articles closer to the subject matter. Since interlinking is so easy, I think it really does make sense to try to keep articles reasonably well-focused on their specific subject. I moved the information here to spur a discussion regarding which information does make sense to integrate into the rest of the article. I still stand by my comments above regarding the specifics. I think some of it can be integrated, but some of the links probably belong in the "See also" section. As I said above, the lead of the article needs expansion and clarification. I think that brief allusions to other articles and similar concepts could help put this article in context. And, as you said, it might help users who have arrived on this page but are really looking for something related. --Dfred (talk) 14:17, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Jerry Rigging[edit]

I don't feel like looking up a good source to cite, but I'm pretty sure the "Jerry Rigging" variation on this term actually originates from a skit Jerry Lewis would do, named after himself, where he would jury rig various things in comic fashion. --TheCynic 20:44, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Two paragraphs that purport to trace the derivation of "Jerry Rigging" (last paragraph under Rigging and the third item under Similar phrases) seem to be in conflict: They offer similar derivations, and one of them terms the history "folk etymology" while the other does not. Neither paragraph cites any sources. -- (talk) 01:06, 18 May 2010 (UTC)


The cited source (Word Court) for "jerry-rigged" being a misspelling of the alleged racial slur "jheri-rigged" actually makes no mention of such a misspelling, or of any such term as "jheri-rigged." It does mention the possibility of "jerry-rigged" being a WWII-era slur against Germans, but dismisses this as etymologically unfounded (the phrase actually appears to be merely a conflation of "jury-rigged" and "jerry-built," a term that well pre-dates the World Wars). So I'm going to remove the part about "jerry-rigged" being any kind of slur unless someone can provide an actual citation for the usage. (the term "n*****-rigged" is another question, and one I'm not proposing to address here). (talk) 13:20, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Ahh, I see that someone actually replaced the originally correct summary of the Word Court citation with the sentence about "jheri-rigged" without providing a new citation, and am reverting that edit. (talk) 15:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Afro Engineering[edit]

I changed the wording from "slightly more polite/politically correct version.." to "sarcastically polite/politically correct version..." because "afro-engineering" is clearly as offensive as "n***er rig", as the meaning is preserved, despite the language change...though I don't know if the term needs to be included at all. It seems this section on racial slangs was added not to provide a wider understanding of the concept, but by an individual who found it humourous in a way more appropriate to —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:23, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Someone removed that definition. I restored it in its full version, but tried to be as fair and as impartial as possible. Bill (talk) 21:00, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I removed the unnecessary racist term and it revered accidentally. If I see it again, I'll remove it again.  Mr JM  02:44, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
I put a comment in here but totally missed the whole racial epithet discussion above and removed it. Doh. nezZario (talk) 21:21, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Jury-rig vs. Jerry-rig ?[edit]

I would like more information about the differences and similarities between the meanings of the two. --TiagoTiago (talk) 07:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Jury Rigged and othr slang or inappropriate terms[edit]

Acutally all of the terms mentioned above have been common place and it is time to reitre them. The new term from 2010 forward is "Presidential Solution" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Similar Phrases[edit]

I removed 'gundecking' from the list, because the linked article (and everything else I've ever seen in 31 years of Navy service) indicate that gun decking is falsifying records (generally to claim that you did work you didn't actually do). It is certainly possible that somewhere, some time, someone (maybe even me) has used gundecking to mean repairs of a jury-rigged nature, but without a reference to such, I can't see including it in a list of similar terms, since faking records really isn't very similar to making something work with materials at hand. CruiserBob (talk) 17:14, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per request. Favonian (talk) 09:04, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Jury rigJury rigging – Don't we usually have titles in the gerund form? (Running, not Run) Red Slash 04:30, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Support far better title. GregKaye 09:48, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The current title is awkward and the new one is better. It's also the more common name. Calidum T|C 16:36, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support better title. Reify-tech (talk) 22:59, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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