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System D is a shorthand term that refers back to the French word débrouillard, (one who is) skilled or resourceful at handling any difficulty. System D refers to a manner of responding to challenges that requires one to have the ability to think fast, to adapt, and to improvise when getting the job done.

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
* Bourdain, Anthony (2006). The Nasty Bits. New York: Bloomsbury.
* Nicolas Freeling (1970). The Kitchen. Hamish Hamilton, Ltd.
Janice is the queen of System D ... she ran out of hair pins and used paper clips as barrettes when styling Audrina's hair for her prom.

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.
by Daisy Gatsby May 27, 2009
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May 14 Word of the Day
Intelligence agency term for "psychological operation". A government or corporate-sponsored operation, usually taking the form of a "terrorist attack" or "crazed gunman on a spree", with the intent of panicking the public into demanding more police and laws inhibiting freedom. Psyops are usually carried out by drugging a civilian or group of civilians with aggression-promoting drugs, psyching them up, arming them, and sending them out to commit mayhem. Government-sponsored terrorism. See also blackshirts, conspiracy
Person A: Man, that nutcase Martin Bryant guy shot 35 people in Tasmania!

Person B: No, he wasn't a nutcase, that was just a psyop so the government could have an excuse to ban guns.
by Mystikan April 11, 2006
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A horrible, useless replacement of init in Linux written by Lennart Poettering.
Argh, systemd has fucked up my EFI parameters!
by RussianGeek June 06, 2018
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The things cooks who are in the weeds do to get caught up. Includes deep-fried steaks, questionably sourced ingredients, illicit bouillion cubes, and lots of other things you really don't want to know about when your order gets to the table. Practitioners of System D are known as débrouillards, which in French means "guy who gets you out of trouble".
I really don't want to see what kind of System D shit goes on back there, nor do I want to know how my steak got to the table in five minutes or why it has paper towel marks on it. Shut up and eat.
by December 16, 2007
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