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fritz, on the

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fritz, on the adj phr, adv phr  [Orig unknown] chiefly Nth See Map Cf kaput B
Out of order; in (or into) a state of disrepair or ruin.

1903 R. L. McCardell Conversat. Chorus Girl 15 (OEDS), They gave an open air [performance] that put our opera house show on the Fritz. 1905 (1906) Green At the Actors’ Boarding House 359 NYC, What with me ketchin’ ’em cookin’ spaghetti on the gas an’ tearin’ up the bedspreads to use fur makeup towels, they’re puttin’ the place on the fritz!  1919 Kyne Capt. Scraggs 73 CA, I got my arms left, even if my feet is on the fritz. 1950 WELS (“My sewing machine is _____.”) 8 Infs, WI, On the fritz.  1965–70 DARE (Qu. KK19, . . Temporarily out of order: “My sewing machine _____.”) 75 Infs, chiefly Nth, Is on the fritz; MA54, Went on the fritz; (Qu. KK20b, Something that looks as if it might collapse any minute: “Our old washing machine is _____.”) 10 Infs, Nth, On the fritz; [NY86, Fritz;] (Qu. BB20, . . Overactive kidneys) Inf AZ2, Waterworks on the fritz. 1980 Milwaukee Jrl. (WI) 3 July Green Sheet 2/1 nwOH, Today our TV set began acting up with the picture all scrambled. Dad fiddled with the controls, as he always does, but finally said: “This time it’s really on the fritz. We’ll have to call the repairman.”  

 

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