ramshackle


in very bad condition (building)

TRANSLATION

ramshackle = klapprig, verkommen, wackelig, baufällig, marode ramshackle building - ein wackeliges, altes Haus ramshackle hut - eine Bruchbude

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

Experiencing the best of Portugal, we start in Lisbon, a RAMSHACKLE mix of glorious old and fun-loving new.

Rick Steve's Europe

Did you
know?

ramshackle
adjective

- in a state of severe disrepair.

(Compact Oxford English Dictionary)

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WORD ORIGIN

First-time visitors are often astounded at how neat and orderly Germany is. Even from the air, it's obvious that Germans take pride in maintaining their homes. Row after row of red-orange tiled roofs dot a perfectly manicured landscape of well-groomed farms and immaculate lawns. As an American once asked me on the approach to Munich airport, "Where are the ramshackle buildings?".

I tried to explain that after the devastation of two world wars, perhaps it's natural to have an underlying yearn for control and order. This does not fully account for the German obsession with keeping things tidy and in perfect working condition, but it was enough to satisfy the American's curiosity.

In any case, a well-maintained and functioning infrastructure is one of the reasons why many foreigners choose to live and work in Germany.

So how did ramshackle come to mean something that is run-down and in desperate need of repair?

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ETYMOLOGICAL CONFUSIONS

Ramshackle (from around 1830) is a back-formation of ramshackled, which derived from ranshackled (1675), an alteration of ransackled, which was the past participle of ransackle. And ransackle derived from ransack.

Ransack (circa 1250) comes from the Old Norse rannsaka, meaning to pillage (plündern). Ransaka literally meant "search the house.

Source: The Online Etymology Dictionary

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SYNONYMS

broken-down, crumbling, decrepit, derelict, dilapidated, falling apart, flimsy, jerry-built, poor, rickety, shabby, shaky, tottering, tumbledown, unfirm, unsafe, unsteady

(Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus)

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ANTONYMS

sturdy, well-maintained, in good shape, in tiptop shape

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PRACTICE OWAD TODAY

"I'll be so glad when we move out of this RAMSHACKLE office building and into the new headquarters complex across town."


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Meinungsmacher, Schönredner, Medienberater = S__________

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SPINMEISTER

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