I am not sure if this is a proper place to post this question, but I was unable to find any better.

There in software development, we tend to use Russian word “костыль” (crutch) to denote the solution, which is to prop the existing code up, not to fix the real cause of the problem. It’s wry and is usually used in a negative sense, like “I’ll put a crutch here for now, but when we are not in rush, it should be fixed properly.” The code behaves as a human being on their crutches: they walk somehow, but the observers fear they to drop down.

My question is: is “crutch” sounds legit in this context in English, and if not, is there any close analog of “костыль” in English?

  • I voted to close this question because it is not about the Russian language.
    – Yellow Sky
    Mar 6, 2017 at 8:28
  • @YellowSky I could easily state the question as ‘is “crutch” to be translated into Russian as “костыль” in IT slang’ to make it fit rules better, and receive a feedback on the real question. Instead of doing that I honestly stated the question the way it goes. I believe it’s related to Russian language and is in general “about the Russian language.” Sometimes following rules blindly is the worst thing we can do. Mar 6, 2017 at 8:44
  • Hack or workaround.
    – Atomosk
    Mar 6, 2017 at 9:33
  • 4
    it's kludgy - thefreedictionary.com/kludgy - but this is off-topic here.
    – shabunc
    Mar 6, 2017 at 13:26
  • 1
    The word is "kludge"
    – axk
    Sep 29, 2020 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


I use "dirty hack" in such cases. I think that "hack" or "workaround" have not such negative connotations.

  • 1
    In terms of IT we also can use term "ad hoc" (a bit Latin)
    – S Panfilov
    Mar 20, 2017 at 13:31

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