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rough and ready

simple, but nevertheless effective


rough and ready = einfach aber effektiv; grob geschnitzt, zusammengeschustert, zusammengezimmert, provisorisch



But for readers accustomed to the ROUGH-AND-READY informality of many blogs, these new websites are curious creations.

(University Business Magazine)

The ROUGH-AND-READY interpretation is that economic demand is strong, but we are meeting the extra demand for labour by importing it and much of the additional demand for goods by importing them too.

(adapted from The London Independent)

Did you

rough and ready
adjective phrase

- simple but good enough

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

- rough or crude but effective for a purpose or use

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


As used in this expression, rough basically means simple or unrefined. By adding the word “ready”, the expression suggests that despite a lack of sophistication, something can still be effective.

Although the exact origin is unknown, one of the first uses was recorded in the mid-1800s. Zachary Taylor, twelfth President of the United States and a highly popular army commander, was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” by his troops due to his habit of wearing civilian clothes instead of an army uniform. Taylor was so popular that a group of miners who founded a Gold Rush community in 1849 in northern California named the town Rough and Ready.

By 1850, Rough and Ready's population exceeded 3,000. It suffered the effects of general lawlessness and increasing anger towards the U.S. government for assessing a tax on all gold claims. On April 7, 1850, a mass meeting of the town's residents was called to propose seceding (sich trennen) from the United States, or the Union as it was called.

The residents declared the establishment of The Great Republic of Rough and Ready as a free and independent nation, elected Colonel E.F. Brundage as President and signed a constitution. The Great Republic lasted only three months as the world's smallest nation.

When it came time to celebrate the Fourth of July, the town's residents, overcome by patriotic excitement and perhaps feeling a little guilty, decided to immediately rejoin the Union. They raised the Stars and Stripes to the top of the flagpole and the whole episode slipped into history, but the name Rough and Ready lives on.

(sources: The Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, Wikipedia, Grolier Online)


cobbled together, cobbled up, quick and dirty, thrown together

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation
say something like:

“This website design is a bit ROUGH-AND-READY, but it's good enough to give the agency an idea.”

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