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1869, Eng. dialect jerry "bad, defective," a pejorative use of the male nickname Jerry (a popular form of Jeremy), or from naut. slang jury "temporary," which came to be used of all sorts of makeshift and inferior objects.

Note: "Jury Rigged" is a temporary solution done with materials at hand (and can be considered clever), while "Jerry Rigged" (or "Jerry Built") is a poorly made permanent construction, and has no positive connotations.
Those pre-fabricated houses built by the contractor with the lowest bid are probably jerry-built.
by Bob Bendesky December 27, 2006
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Something poorly built is “jerry-built.”
Boy......that hot rod is a piece of junk!
Sure is jerry-built!!
by Mike Dallos November 24, 2004
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Jerry-built refers to something built shoddily, flimsily, and cheaply.

A lot of people confuse jury-rigged and jerry-built. Although their etymologies are obscure and their meanings overlap, these are two distinct expressions.
That house is only 10 years old and yet it is falling down already. It must have been jerry-built.
by outofstepper October 24, 2012
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