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Grab BS: 'Cowboy' : UK usage only ? (58* d) RE: BS: 'Cowboy' : UK usage only ? 17 Mar 08

Metchosin, more usually "jury-rigged", which has a specific nautical meaning of fixing a boom to the stub of a broken mast to get your ship home. It's since become fairly common to mean a temporary emergency repair. Quite likely it's been corrupted to "jerry-rigged", but that's not the real phrase.

"Jerrybuilt" is another thing altogether, which is something thrown together quicky and shoddily. Often this is also temporary, but usually it's a crap-because-it's-temporary kind of thing, as opposed to "jury-rigged" which is an anything-to-get-you-home improvised solution. With the name, there would seem to be a clear link to WWI or WWII, but I suspect it's older, and Germans were generally known for their quality engineering anyway.

As for "Rube Goldberg", there's a direct British equivalent of "Heath Robinson".

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