Origin of catch-as-catch-can
A phrase that describes a situation in which people must improvise or do what they can with limited means: “We don't have enough textbooks for all of the students, so it'll be catch-as-catch-can.”
catch as catch can
By whatever means or in any way possible, as in There was no formal language program; one simply learned Spanish catch as catch can. This term, in slightly varying versions but with the same meaning, dates from the late 1300s.