i KNOW i wrote a post on the term jury-rig (aka jerryrig), but i think it got lost in the great blog migration of 2012. so i’ll repost since megan asked me about it, and i think it’s interesting!
jury-rigged goes back to the late 1700s when ships were out and about sailing the seas. when you’re out there, you only have so much to work with.
i’ve seen a couple backgrounds, one referring to a jory sail, from middle english for makeshift sale. it’s also referred to as a jury mast, which is a temporary mast after one’s been lost. by lost, i assume been torn off by the unforgiving sea. yarrr.
either way, seems like sailors had to do a lot of fixing on the fly, whether it’s the sail or the mast, and had to rig it up pretty quick, and i’d guess, a little haphazardly using what they had o hand to get things going. hence, jury-rig.