The term gained popularity after appearing in the 2006 publication of Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. Bourdain's sous-chef likens the use of System D to being a modern-day MacGyver ... getting the job done with a mix of whatever resources are available and a great deal of personal innovation.
In The Nasty Bits, Bourdain references first coming upon the term while reading Nicolas Freeling's memoir, The Kitchen, written about Freeling's years as a Grand Hotel cook in France.
* débrouillard (2009). Webster's New World College Dictionary. Retrieved May 24th, 2009, from www.yourdictionary.com/d-ebrouillard
* Bourdain, Anthony (2006). The Nasty Bits. New York: Bloomsbury.
* Nicolas Freeling (1970). The Kitchen. Hamish Hamilton, Ltd.
The contestants on The Amazing Race were totally System D-ing it when they ran out of money and had to barter to pay their cab driver.