MacGyver
v. To invent or modify something by the ingenious use of the materials and tools at hand.
MacGyvering pp.

Example Citations:
Robbins' luggage was lost and she didn't get it back until she arrived home in Boston.

"It was unreal. I had whatever I had in my backpack and what I could find at the market," she said. "I had to MacGyver stuff. I didn't have my knee brace and had to make something."
—Heather Rutz, "New Y worker brings world of experience to job," The Lima News, March 5, 2007

In 1988, Barlow was booted out of Dinosaur Jr. (which also recently reunited, making for a busy 2007 for Barlow). Sebadoh went from side project to full-time gig. Recording in bedrooms and basements on equipment MacGyvered together with duct tape and ingenuity, Sebadoh's mix of raw noise and acoustic oddities and its no-budget studio techniques inspired everyone from Pavement, Neutral Milk Hotel and Will Oldham to Beck and Modest Mouse.
—Jed Gottlieb, "Sebadoh instrumental in blazing indie-rock trail," The Boston Herald, March 28, 2007

Earliest Citation:
The good news about building a car for $ 2000 is that anyone can afford it—you can practically shake that much change out of your sofa. The bad news is that it won't be built the "right" way. It'll be MacGyvered to the best of our lack of ability, so you may be shocked at the butchery never before seen in these pages, all in the name of fast and cheap.
—David Freiburger, "Can we run 12s for $ 2000?," Hot Rod, March 1, 1994

Notes:
This verb comes from the 80s TV show MacGyver, where the eponymous hero was a secret agent who used scientific knowledge, common everyday items, and usually a certain amount of duct tape to improvise clever devices that helped him escape from precarious situations. His name also works well as an adjective:

When he teaches bachelors, Urbanetti chips away at this fear by leading students in what he calls "MacGyver cooking" - taking whatever vegetables and condiments they have on hand and putting them on a pizza crust.
—Emily Shartin, "Singling out meals to cook for just one," The Boston Globe, March 7, 2007

Related Words:

Categories: