Word or phrase for a temporary solution that ends up becoming permanent

Is there a word or phrase for something that is meant to be a temporary solution to a problem, but because it gains enough momentum ends up becoming the permanent solution? Ideally the word/phrase should convey the idea that the temporary solution is less than ideal.

The closest thing that I could find was this, but it describes something that was intended to become permanent all along: is there a word for temporary-but-may-become-permanent.

As an example, while deciding on which scheduling program is the best one to use, someone throws together a spreadsheet to use in the meantime. Eventually, this occurs:

XKCD Comic; Alt-text: There was a schism in 2007, when a sect advocating OpenOffice created a fork of Sunday.xlsx and maintained it independently for several months. The efforts to reconcile the conflicting schedules led to the reinvention, within the cells of the spreadsheet, of modern version control. (Source: http://xkcd.com/1667/)

(and the scheduling program was never heard from again; except in lamentations and wistful remembrances.)

The spreadsheet would be considered a ___ solution.

Answer

An interesting term would be “permanent temporary solution“, as used in some articles, such as; NYT opinion page about refugee camps in Kenya, Public Space article on refugee camps in Palestine, etc.

You can replace “temporary solution” with single words like stopgap or other synonyms, as mentioned in another answer.

There are many things we use today that were actually meant to be temporary, but somehow ended up being used for a longer time than intended. For example: Mobile phones, wrist watches, plastic, and even the Internet! [1]

But I have never come across a single-word that is defined as “a temporary solution that ends up becoming permanent”.

Find more examples on Google.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : caleb , Answer Author : NVZ

Leave a Comment