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

In software development, we tend to use the Russian word “костыль” (crutch) to denote a solution that's used to prop the existing code up, not to fix the real cause of the problem. It’s wry and usually used in a negative sense, like “I’ll put a crutch here for now, but when we have time, it should be fixed properly.” The code behaves like a human being on crutches: they're somehow able to walk, but those watching fear that they can fall down any minute.

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

  • 4
    it's kludgy - thefreedictionary.com/kludgy - but this is off-topic here.
    – shabunc
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 13:26
  • 1
    The word is "kludge"
    – axk
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 10:07
  • 1
    @AlekseiMatiushkin This article deals with band-aids used in IT and project management: lucidinsights.com.au/industry-trends-and-news/…
    – CocoPop
    Commented Oct 7, 2023 at 14:54
  • 1
    @CocoPop thanks for the link, I appreciate it! Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 7:36
  • 1
    @AlekseiMatiushkin If this question were still open, I would've posted an official response. My sister's a project manager here in Florida, and she confirmed that band-aid is what they call this.
    – CocoPop
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


I use "dirty hack" in such cases. I don't think "hack" or "workaround" have such negative connotations.

  • 1
    In terms of IT we also can use term "ad hoc" (a bit Latin)
    – S Panfilov
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 13:31
  • We also use the "duct tape". Or "workaround" when talking to management.
    – birukaze
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 13:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.