There in software development, we sometimes use a solution, which is to prop the existing code up, not to fix the real cause of the problem. It might be called “dirty hack,” or “makeshift,” or “kludge.”

It’s wry and is usually used in a negative sense, like “I’ll put a kludge 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: what is the word in Spanish we use to denote “kludge”/“makeshift” in the software code?

  • As a computer scientist, I might suggest that "kludge" isn't always pejorative. Sometimes it can mean "an unusual yet innovative solution to a tricky problem." Just my $0.02.
    – pr1268
    Mar 7, 2017 at 11:36
  • I do not think so. Hack would be the word for unusual yet innovative. Kludge is always pejorative, IMHO. I am the computer scientist too :) Mar 7, 2017 at 11:48

2 Answers 2


Right now I cannot think of a specific word for the computer science world. We tend to use generic words for that:


  1. f. Obra o trabajo, generalmente de mantenimiento, de poca importancia.
  2. f. Trabajo hecho mal y sin esmero.

The second meaning is the one you need: you can say that a quick, poorly written fix in software is a chapuza.

Another word that is spreading lately all along Spain for the same purpose is ñapa, though it is still not accepted by the RAE with that meaning (it has another meaning in Latin America).

(More info about ñapa, in Spanish: ¿Qué significa "ñapa" en el titulo de la canción "ñapa es" de Ska-p?)

  • Great, thanks, “chapuza” is exactly what I thought of. Plus particular thanks for “ñapa.” Mar 7, 2017 at 8:51
  • @mudasobwa you're welcome! Note that ñapa is a colloquial word, while chapuza can be used in more formal contexts.
    – Charlie
    Mar 7, 2017 at 8:57
  • You forgot "parche".
    – roetnig
    Feb 23, 2018 at 8:35
  • @roetnig that's a good option, but I don't think it carries a negative feeling. Please, feel free to add a new answer with that word. :-)
    – Charlie
    Feb 23, 2018 at 8:43
  • @roetnig Charlie maybe "parche" doesn't sound as a bad thing, but "parchazo" definitely does. :P
    – Brian H.
    Feb 23, 2018 at 9:48

Otra posible traducción es 'apaño'. Una solución improvisada y mediocre a un problema. Un truco poco sofisticado y temporal para corregir un problema imprevisto. En la jerga informática se supone que es un acrónimo de "klumsy, lame, ugly, dumb, but good enough" (torpe, cojo, feo, tonto, pero suficientemente bueno).'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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