jerry-built vs jury-rigged : Common Errors in English

About jerry-built vs 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.”

jerry-built Meaning(s)

  • (s) of inferior workmanship and materials

jury-rigged Meaning(s)

  • (s) done or made using whatever is available

jury-rigged in News

  • Moonshine tempts new generation

    By Kari Andren, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Primitive, jury-rigged stills and glass Mason jars with crude, homemade labels — the vestiges of Prohibition — are reappearing in Western Pennsylvania as illegal moonshine ...
    on July 21, 2013 Source: The Mckeesport Daily News

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