on the fritz

Definitions

Slang

  • adjective malfunctioning, out of order. A synonym of the colloquial ‘on the blink’. Fritz here may be the German nickname, probably alluding to imported German goods, thought by Americans in the 1930s to be shoddy. It may alternatively echo the sound of a short circuit, a buzzing in electrical equipment.
  • adverb malfunctioning, out of order. A synonym of the colloquial ‘on the blink’. Fritz here may be the German nickname, probably alluding to imported German goods, thought by Americans in the 1930s to be shoddy. It may alternatively echo the sound of a short circuit, a buzzing in electrical equipment.
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