One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounin phrase go" or "be on the fritz
(of a machine) stop working properly.‘our TV went on the fritz for two weeks’
- ‘First my printer went bonkers, and then my cable modem went on the fritz.’
- ‘Our electrical equipment went on the fritz and never came back.’
- ‘It's not like an electrical grid is going to go on the fritz tomorrow and leave a corner of the country in the dark, right?’
- ‘The pump is vital to storing enough water to last during spells when the water is shut off, and it was on the fritz.’
- ‘For weeks the phones were on the fritz, and there were too few people to handle too many offers to help.’
- ‘Joe's little silver Volkswagen was on the fritz and the two of them had it parked in my dad's driveway (which is separate from our regular driveway).’
- ‘My scanner seems to be on the fritz, so I'll have to scan them at work on Saturday instead.’
- ‘The next time your water heater goes on the fritz, you can blame Adam for your aggravation.’
- ‘My cable modem at home is on the fritz, so there probably won't be any more blog posts until I get it fixed.’
- ‘Years from now, when your state-of-the-art PC is on the fritz, you might have to call your local molecular biologist for tech support.’
- ‘We need to get the air conditioning repaired because it's been on the fritz for three weeks.’
- ‘Their espresso machine was on the fritz so we opted for the less than stellar regular coffee.’
- ‘The heat was on the fritz and the faucet in the washroom was never really able to shut off.’
- ‘My movie clip software is on the fritz, so unfortunately, there is no new movie clip this month.’
- ‘As I mentioned before, one of the two glass elevators seemed to be on the fritz for about half of the voyage.’
- ‘Just days before a big family dinner, my oven went on the fritz.’
- ‘I'd display some pictures, but my camera's been on the fritz since a trip to the Virgin Islands.’
- ‘The half-height cubicle they show you is completely lit by a fluorescent light which is on the fritz.’
- ‘Voting machines were on the fritz, and the office received constant calls about voting procedure.’
- ‘Then Lea mentioned that the fridge was on the fritz, so I jury-rigged it again.’
Early 20th century: said to be a use of Fritz, with allusion to cheap German imports into the US before the First World War.
1A German, especially a soldier in the First World War (often used as a nickname).
- ‘The other day two Fritzes appeared walking unarmed along the top of their trench trying to fraternise.’
- ‘We saw Fritz try to get several other balloons but the anti-aircraft guns compelled him to fly high and so he could not make a direct hit.’
- 1.1in singular The Germans collectively.
Late 19th century: abbreviation of the German given name Friedrich.
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