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December 13, 2007


The French term, bricoleur, doesn’t have any real equivalent in English. But perhaps a picture would help.

At bedtime, tonight, my daughter announced that the handle of her portfolio (in which she carries around her papers between classes) had broken. This was the second time the damned thing had broken (the first was shortly after purchase), but this time it had ripped up part of the top of the portfolio. Could I fix it before school tomorrow?

My wife sidled over, and decided to model how (IMHO) not to behave in such circumstances. “Daddy fix?” she fluttered her eyelids, to my daughter’s great amusement. I marched downstairs, muttering about whatever happened to fixing a broken fan-belt with a nylon stocking. Eventually, I found what I didn’t really know I was looking for: metal shears, some nuts and bolts, and an old piece of weather-stripping (cut in two).

portfolio, with jury-rigged handle

Posted by distler at December 13, 2007 11:52 PM

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4 Comments & 0 Trackbacks

Re: Bricolage

“hacker” is a good translation of “bricoleur” ;-)

Posted by: Slim Amamou on January 3, 2008 6:52 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Bricolage

In norwegian we use something equivalent to “a spanish fix”, or “a spanish one”. A shortcut-fix like wielding a power outlet box with duct tape :)

Posted by: Helge Pettersen on January 21, 2008 5:57 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Bricolage

I don’t know if there’s an English equivalent of “bricolage”, but I would call that “jerry-rigging.”

Posted by: Charles G Waldman on January 29, 2008 6:19 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Bricolage

came from Claude Lévi-Strauss
article La Pensée sauvage

Posted by: Yuri Danoyan on February 11, 2008 10:07 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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