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Crock

From Academic Kids

Especially in engineering, a crock is a botched attempt or design to achieve something. An automobile with intentionally designed square wheels would be a crock.

Most of Rube Goldberg's or Heath Robinson's unlikely machines were crocks and, because they were, were funny. In absolute contrast, there is little more condemnatory in an engineering context than to declare something a crock.

A kludge, by contrast is typically something that works, however clumsily. A kludge'd design which didn't actually work, will probably also be a crock.

The term was early used at the MIT Model Railroad Club, and from there moved to computing and into computing terminology.

See also: Jargon File


Crock also means a fired clay (or earthenware) container sometimes used for food, and sometimes used for chemicals. It is perhaps most commonly used as part of the term crock-pot. See also: leprechaun

These two meanings of the word are probably connected by the American scatologism crock of shit for extreme forms of what would otherwise be called bullshit.


Crock is also a comic strip depicting the French Foreign Legion.

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