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Wave a dead chicken

Wave a dead chicken is a saying which means to make a token effort (wave a dead chicken) which one knows will ultimately be completely useless but must be done nonetheless so others are satisfied that enough effort has been used to try and fix the problem. "I'll wave a dead chicken over the source code, but I really think we've run into an OS bug." It is a reference to the ritual animal sacrifices that some religions believe can prompt supernatural entities to render assistance. Compare voodoo programming, rain dance, casting the runes.

This definition (or an earlier version of it) comes from the Jargon File via FOLDOC. Used by permission.

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