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mod. carelessly and awkwardly built. The lawyer’s case was jerry-built, but the jury bought it anyway.

jerry built

Constructed in a cheap, ramshackle, or otherwise insubstantial fashion. Although the phrase is widely thought to have come from the British World War I slang term for “German,” it well antedates the 20th century. Some possibilities are an old English word for tumble, Jericho (as in Joshua causing the walls to come tumbling down).
See also: built, Jerry
References in classic literature ?
After driving through the side street we came to the large cab stand where Jerry had said "Good-night".
Well," said Jerry pleasantly, "I suppose I need not find it out till it finds me out, eh?
Be careful of the horses, Sam; you know Jerry was a little lame last week; don't ride them too fast.
So, with great vehemence, he overturned Sam, and, giving two or three contemptuous snorts, flourished his heels vigorously in the air, and was soon prancing away towards the lower end of the lawn, followed by Bill and Jerry, whom Andy had not failed to let loose, according to contract, speeding them off with various direful ejaculations.
Come over here side o' me an' tell me all about it," coaxed uncle Jerry.
You see, Jerry Moore was one of these slow, simple fellers, and you could tell in a moment what a lot he thought of Gentleman.
It wasn't long before I begin to notice a change in Jerry.
Remember when we came back from Malaita, where we picked Jerry up, to Tulagi, that he had a brother there, a nigger-chaser on a schooner.
I remember the day when we were on the beach at Tulagi with Jerry, and when his brother came ashore from the Eugenie in a whaleboat.
When the oat-spry horse had hedged a little his first spurt of speed Jerry broke the lid of his cab and called down through the aperture in the voice of a cracked megaphone, trying to please:
The driver of one of them went and routed out Jerry asleep in his cab.
Joking apart, Jerry, old man,' he said, 'what did you ask me to come here for?
An admirable lad that,' said Jerry Nichols as the door closed.
I've got a animal here,' said Jerry, putting his hand into the capacious pocket of his coat, and diving into one corner as if he were feeling for a small orange or an apple or some such article,
Here he is,' said Jerry, producing a little terrier from his pocket.