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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. a badly assembled collection of parts hastily assembled to serve some particular purpose (often used to refer to computing systems or software that has been badly put together);


WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

kludge n 1: a badly assembled collection of parts hastily assembled to serve some particular purpose (often used to refer to computing systems or software that has been badly put together)
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

kludge 1. /kluhj/ n. Incorrect (though regrettably common) spelling of kluge (US). These two words have been confused in American usage since the early 1960s, and widely confounded in Great Britain since the end of World War II. 2. [TMRC] A crock that works. (A long-ago Datamation article by Jackson Granholme similarly said: ?An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole.?) 3. v. To use a kludge to get around a problem. ?I've kludged around it for now, but I'll fix it up properly later.? This word appears to have derived from Scots kludge or kludgie for a common toilet, via British military slang. It apparently became confused with U.S. kluge during or after World War II; some Britons from that era use both words in definably different ways, but kluge is now uncommon in Great Britain. ?Kludge? in Commonwealth hackish differs in meaning from ?kluge? in that it lacks the positive senses; a kludge is something no Commonwealth hacker wants to be associated too closely with. Also, ?kludge? is more widely known in British mainstream slang than ?kluge? is in the U.S.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

kludge /kluhj/ (From the old Scots "kludgie" meaning an outside toilet) A Scottish engineering term for anything added in an ad hoc (and possibly unhygenic!) manner. At some point during the Second World War, Scottish engineers met Americans and the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of kludge became confused with that of "kluge". The spelling "kludge" was apparently popularised by the "Datamation" cited below which defined it as "An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole." The result of this tangled history is a mess; in 1993, many (perhaps even most) hackers pronounce the word /klooj/ but spell it "kludge" (compare the pronunciation drift of mung). Some observers consider this appropriate in view of its meaning. ["How to Design a Kludge", Jackson Granholme, Datamation, February 1962, pp. 30-31]. [Jargon File] (1998-12-09)