One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Badly or hastily built with materials of poor quality.
shoddy, badly built, gimcrack, flimsy, insubstantial, rickety, unstable, ramshackle, crude, carelessly built, thrown together, makeshift, defective, faulty, flawedView synonyms
- ‘The President is not merely proposing to impose his jerry-built system on soldiers captured on the battlefield, however.’
- ‘Despite the work's jerry-built appearance, it exuded an internal order that is both erudite and sophisticated.’
- ‘In contrast, say, to the Museum of Scotland, the new parliament building is going up as fast as a block of jerry-built flats.’
- ‘The old jerry-built compilation strung together 27 different computer systems worldwide, most of which couldn't talk with the others.’
- ‘The people living in small, jerry-built houses in the adjacent villages were easy victims of the waves.’
- ‘The bases are ungainly, jerry-built settings that playfully complement the divalike trees.’
- ‘North Korea has the added attraction that its jerry-built missiles are the primary public targets of America's National Missile Defense.’
- ‘Yet none of this means that the show, endearingly old-fashioned as it is, can be dismissed as jerry-built or, worse yet, geriatric.’
- ‘Again due to a housing shortage, the jerry-built houses spread in all directions, especially on the outskirts of Seoul.’
- ‘One friend in the Humvee was already dead from the blast of the jerry-built 90 mm mortar round, and one would die later.’
- ‘The works, while clear, are also ambiguous; a number look ramshackle, jerry-built, jumbled - even chaotic.’
- ‘Irish football is traditionally ridiculed but it was the side representing Scotland which was lightweight and jerry-built.’
- ‘The jerry-built result predictably leaves the show dependent on the songs, the production values, and the performers.’
- ‘He explained how ‘Murphy kept driving the jerry-built contraption until the wheels came off.’’
Mid 19th century: origin unknown; sometimes said to be from the name of a firm of builders in Liverpool, or to allude to the walls of Jericho, which fell down at the sound of Joshua's trumpets (Josh. 6:20).
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