ad hoc use of the means at hand

Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does "ad hoc use of the ‘means at hand’ for their day-to-day tasks" mean "use of every day objects in works and situations that they are not made for (for example using a brick instead of a jack under a car)?

Although first identified by Claude Levi-Strauss as a life strategy for low-tech societies which depend on the ad hoc use of the ‘means at hand’ for their day-to-day tasks, it was Jacques Derrida who spotted the potential that bricolage has as a postmodern strategy which lends itself to openness and playfulness in language (Art and Advertising by Joan Gibbons).
  • Blue Apple

    Senior Member
    Persian (Iran)
    Yes, that’s exactly what it means.
    can not understand its meaning on the whole but can not interpret its meaning word to word. Can you help me in this regard? It is my understanding: ad hoc use of [unplanned use of] the means at hand [the available tools and objects] for their day-to-day tasks [for unrelated everyday chores].
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - England
    It can be paraphrased as “making do” with whatever items happen to be available in order to carry out a task you don’t have the right tools for. Using bricks to jack up a car is an excellent example of this.
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