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bad workers always blame their tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his or her equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, bad workers always blame their tools.
See also: always, bad, blame, tool, worker

blame game

The exchange of accusations and blame between two or more parties during a dispute or some undesirable event. After the team lost the match, there was a bit of a blame game going on between the players and the coaches. The government parties prefer to play the blame game during an economic crisis.
See also: blame, game

a bad carpenter blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his or her equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, a bad carpenter always blames his tools.
See also: bad, blame, tool

a bad workman always blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his orher equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. The football player blamed the overinflated ball for costing his team the game, but as they say, a bad workman always blames his tools.
See also: always, bad, blame, tool, workman

blame Canada

A slang phrase from the cartoon South Park, (comically) blaming Canada for any troubles in one's life. Another tax increase? Ugh, blame Canada! I can't believe we all failed that stupid test. Blame Canada!
See also: blame

a bad workman blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his or her equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. When Mary blamed the oven for burning the turkey on Thanksgiving, her husband jokingly replied, "a bad workman always blames his tools."
See also: bad, blame, tool, workman

a poor craftsman blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, he or she will usually lay the blame on the quality of his or her equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for his or her own failure. After John spent all day assembling his new desk only to discover it was lopsided, he immediately declared that the package must have contained the wrong pieces. His wife replied, "only poor craftsmen blame their tools, dear."
See also: blame, poor, tool

*blame for something

the responsibility of having done something wrong or caused something bad to happen. (*Typically: accept ~; bear ~; shoulder ~; take~.) I absolutely refuse to shoulder the blame for the entire fiasco!
See also: blame

blame someone for something

to hold someone responsible for something; to name someone as the cause of something. Please don't blame Jill for it. She blamed herself for everything that went wrong.
See also: blame

blame something on someone

to say that something is someone's fault; to place the guilt for something on someone. Don't blame it on me. I blamed it all on someone else.
See also: blame, on

lay something on

to supply something in abundance. Look at him lay that butter on! What do you suppose the insides of his arteries look like? They laid on a beautiful buffet lunch.
See also: lay, on

lay something on someone

 
1. Sl. to present a plan or an idea to someone. Here is this century's greatest idea. Let me lay it on you. I'm going to lay a great idea on you.
2. Sl. to attempt to make someone feel guilty about something. Don't lay that stuff on me. Face your own problem. Every week she calls up to lay a guilt trip on me about something or other.
3. Go to lay something on someone or something.
See also: lay, on

lay something on someone or something

to place something on someone or something; to cover someone or something with something. As soon as he breathed his last, the nurse laid a cloth on him. Ken laid the bundle of flowers on the coffee table.
See also: lay, on

lay the blame (for something) on someone

Fig. to place the blame for something on someone. We could not possibly lay the blame for the accident on you. Don't try to lay the blame on me!
See also: blame, lay, on

place the blame on someone or something (for something)

to blame someone or something for something. Please don't try to place the blame on me for the accident. The insurance company placed the blame on the weather.
See also: blame, on, place

put the blame on someone or something

 and lay the blame on someone or something; place the blame on someone or something
to blame someone or something; to assign a bad outcome to someone or something. Don't put the blame on me. I didn't do it. We'll have to place the blame for the damage on the storm.
See also: blame, on, put

take the blame (for doing something)

to acknowledge that one is to blame for doing something. Do you really expect for me to take the blame for something I didn't do?
See also: blame, take

lay the blame on somebody/something

also lay the blame at somebody's door
to say that someone or something is responsible The president seemed to lay the blame for the shootings on video games and TV shows.
Related vocabulary: lay something at somebody's door
See also: blame, lay, on

lay something on somebody

to blame someone for something lay something at somebody's door Don't lay that on me! I wasn't even there when it happened.
See also: lay, on

A bad workman blames his tools.

something that you say when someone blames the objects they are using for their own mistakes 'This oven burns everything.' 'You know what they say, a bad workman blames his tools.'
See also: bad, blame, tool, workman

lay on

1. Cover with, apply; also, use. For example, He decided to lay on a second coat of primer, or She laid on a thick Southern accent. [c. 1600] Also see lay it on thick.
2. Inflict blows, attack, as in "Lay on, Macduff; and damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'" (Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5:8). [Early 1200s]
3. Impose or cast something on someone, as in The government laid a tax on landholders, or Dad had a way of laying the guilt for his shortcomings on his partners. This usage is also found in lay or put the blame on someone , as in Nancy could always find someone to lay the blame on, or Jerry put the blame on Bill. [1300s]
See also: lay, on

put the blame on

see under lay on, def. 3; put it to, def. 3.
See also: blame, on, put

to blame, be

Be responsible for or guilty of something wrong or bad, as in Obviously the teacher was to blame for the chaos in the classroom, or Mary was not to blame for these errors. [Early 1200s]

lay on

v.
1. To place or spread something on a flat surface: I laid my notebooks on my desk and sat down to work.
2. To apply some modification to appearance or behavior: The concierge laid on a strong French accent to fool us. She laid the charm on pretty thick, but I saw through it.
3. To prepare something, usually in an elaborate fashion; arrange something: The caterers laid on cocktails for 50 guests at the last minute.
4. Slang To present or reveal something to someone thoroughly or heavily; confront someone with something: He laid his standard questions on them. The reviewer certainly laid on the criticism, didn't she? I want to know everything that happened, so lay it on me.
See also: lay, on

blame shifting

n. a process in business and government wherein the blame for something bad is shifted from person to person. (A coinage that has appeal because it fills the need to express the concept succinctly.) Can’t we have a decent argument without your constant blame shifting?
See also: blame, shift

to blame

1. Deserving censure or disapproval; at fault: an investigation to determine who was to blame for the leak.
2. Being the cause or source of something: A freak storm was to blame for the power outage.
See also: blame
References in periodicals archive ?
Because after all these years, the blame game is still going on and they can't wait for the other person to get his or her act together because it is all the other person's fault.
Husbands, one of the worst things a "man" can do is to criticize and to blame his wife for things that upset him and aren't going right in his life.
I WAS baffled by the letter from Brian Archer a while ago, which laid blame for the country's ills solely at the Government's door (Voice of the North, July 31).
He lays the blame for illegal immigrants flooding the country at the Government's door.
Burns says the idea that sanctions are to blame for the misery in Iraq gains credence from visiting journalists who are "too gullible to sort fact from propaganda.
Simply sticking the blame on Tenet for the inclusion of this document in the speech is not enough.
All the lefties who populate Your Opinions ritually blame President Bush and the Republicans for everything on either side of the horizon.
In the United States, Pat Buchanan's recent book ``The Great Betrayal'' manages to blame world trade for threatening the survival of the U.
Robert Lawrence and Robert Litan of the Brookings Institute have recently coined the phase ``globaphobia'' to represent individuals on both the left and right who blame our economic problems on international trade.
Bosnia's Muslims might contest the message that all sides were to blame for the 3-1/2-year war, but the story rings true with Serb audiences.
So far, however, the public blames the Republicans - just as it blamed the Democrats for failure when they controlled Congress in 1994.
He blames no one, not Ruelas, not referee Mitch Halpern (who allowed the one-sided fight to continue 10-plus rounds), not another son, Manuel Jr.
But we are all to blame for allowing our politicians to encourage intensive farming at the expense of wildlife and sustainability.
So don't blame a Prime Minister with a massive majority if some bingeing lad or lass vomits on the pavement outside your house.
The biggest drain on our state are the high-salaried, all-the-benefits-and-perks politicians who blame illegal immigration (scapegoat) for the shortage of funds.