>I haven't seen any responses to this, so I'll chip in my two cents. I first
>heard the word "kluge" (long u, indeterminate spelling) from friends at
>CalTech in 1974, and it carried the same "make-do" meaning you have for it.
> However, a kludge was not necessarily clumsy; it could be a matter of using
>what was at hand to solve a problem, even if said materials were not
>normally put to such use. (Apollo 13 was an archetypal example.) But
>outside of emergencies, there was a definite pejorative sense to it, and a
>sense that the "fix" would not last long. (Post-war Italian parliaments
>came to mind. Their average life-span in the 50s and 60s was something like
>I have no idea whether this was adapted into CalTech slang from printing or
>some other source. I _do_ know the definitive etymology of "troll," as in
>"to study," if anyone needs to know <g>.
That's interesting, the first time I heard it used was at about the same
time. It was in a photographic studio just off the Portobello Road in
London: used by a photographer (who travelled a lot) to describe what we
were doing (re-building) to his darkroom. The sense was definitely
self-deprecating: "Kludging together" was how he described it. He also used
"bodge" (short o) in a similar way, perhaps restricting it to the personnel
(we were bodgers who were kludging).
Apart from that instance I have always associated kluge with computers.