tool


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bad workers always blame their tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their 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

a bad carpenter blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their 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, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their 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

a bad workman blames his tools

If someone performs a job or task poorly or unsuccessfully, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their 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, they will usually lay the blame on the quality of their equipment, or other such external factors, rather than take responsibility for their 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

idle hands are the devil's tools

When one has nothing to do, one is more likely to get into trouble. When I'm off from school, my grandmother is always trying to get me out of the house, while reminding me that idle hands are the devil's tools.
See also: hand, idle, tool

down tools

To refuse to work, usually in an attempt to force improvement in one's working conditions. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Sir, I'm afraid the workers will down tools if we don't offer them a better contract.
See also: down, tool

the tools of the/(one's) trade

The specific tools used in a particular profession. If you want to become a painter, you have to familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade—which include more than just paintbrushes. As a reporter, the tools of my trade used to be a pencil and a pad of paper—but now technology has changed the game.
See also: of, tool, trade

not the sharpest tool in the shed

Not particularly intelligent, witty, or clever. His new boyfriend isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's pretty good looking! I wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed in school, but I still managed to find a profession I loved.
See also: not, sharp, shed, tool

tool up

1. To become equipped with the tools, instruments, or machinery necessary for a task or one's job. Now that I'm all tooled up, I can finally get to work repairing this fence. After their lunch break ended, the workers started tooling up again.
2. To provide or equip someone with the tools, instruments, or machinery necessary for a task or one's job. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tool" and "up." This is your first day, right? Head over to the foreman, he'll tool you up. We still need to tool up the new factory.
See also: tool, up

Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.

Prov. A reply to someone who wants you to do a task for which you lack the equipment. How am I supposed to wash the upstairs windows without a ladder? Give us the tools, and we will finish the job!
See also: and, finish, give, job, we, will

tool around (in something)

to go around in a car; to speed around in a car. Who is that kid tooling around in that souped-up car? Ann spends a lot of time tooling around in her new car.
See also: around, tool

tool something up

to equip a factory or production line with particular tools and machines, as for new products. The manager closed down the factory so she could tool it up for the new models. She tooled up the factory in record time.
See also: tool, up

tool up

to become equipped with tools. I need some money so I can tool up to do the job. The factory tooled up to make the new cars in only two weeks.
See also: tool, up

tool up

1. Provide the equipment for a particular task, as in Now that we're all tooled up let's repair the boat. This term originated in industry, where it is used for supplying a factory with machinery or other equipment for production. [1920s]
2. Arm oneself, as in They tooled up for their encounter with the rival gang. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: tool, up

down tools

or

lay down tools

BRITISH
If a group of people down tools or lay down tools, they stop working, often in order to protest about something. In August, the workers at this shipyard downed tools and went on strike for pay increases. Metal workers, engineers, waiters and cooks are among those who have laid down tools this week.
See also: down, tool

the tools of the trade

or

the tools of your trade

The tools of the trade or the tools of your trade are the skills and equipment that you need to do your job. He was never really a novelist, having no use for the usual tools of the trade such as plot and suspense. The peasants were deprived of their animals, the tools of their trade, and their land.
See also: of, tool, trade

a bad workman blames his tools

People say a bad workman blames his tools when someone says that something they have done is not of good quality because they did not have the correct things to do it with, to mean that it is really because they did not have enough skill. Complaining about the poor script, he added: `But they say a bad workman blames his tools.'
See also: bad, blame, tool, workman

down tools

stop work, typically as a form of industrial action. British informal
See also: down, tool

a bad workman blames his tools

someone who has done something badly will seek to lay the blame on the equipment rather than admit to their own lack of skill. proverb
A similar 13th-century French proverb observed mauveés ovriers ne trovera ja bon hostill , ‘bad workmen will never find a good tool’, and variants of this early saying can be found in English until the mid 19th century until the emergence of the modern version.
See also: bad, blame, tool, workman

ˌdown ˈtools

(British English) stop work, either at the end of the day or to go on strike: The workers have threatened to down tools as a protest against the dismissals.
See also: down, tool

the tools of the/your ˈtrade

the things you need to do your job: We are proud to make David’s boots, because they are the tools of his trade as a professional footballer.Ambulancemen now believe that helicopters are vital tools of the trade.
See also: of, tool, trade

tool up

v.
1. To equip oneself with tools or machinery needed for a particular job: The company tooled up to produce the new product.
2. To equip someone or something with tools or machinery needed for a particular job: The company still hasn't tooled up all of its new factories. The supplier travels to every workshop each week to tool them up.
3. To supply or equip oneself with weaponry; arm. Used chiefly in the passive: The gang was tooled up and ready for a fight.
See also: tool, up

garden tool

n. a whore; a hoe. (Contrived word play.) She’s nothing more than a garden tool.
See also: garden, tool

power tool

n. a student who studies most of the time. (An elaboration of tool.) Willard is a power tool if there ever was one. Studies most of the night.
See also: power, tool

tool

1. n. an earnest student. (see also power tool.) Of course he’s a tool. See the plastic liner in his pocket?
2. n. a dupe; someone who can be victimized easily. They were looking for some tool to drive the getaway car.
3. in. to speed along (in a car). (see also tool around.) We were tooling along at about seventy-five when the cop spotted us.

tool around

in. to drive or cruise around. (see also tool.) We tooled around for a while and then rented a horror movie.
See also: around, tool
References in periodicals archive ?
During the last decade, however, the emergence of Web-based Pedagogical Tools (WBPT) embedded in Course Management Systems (CMS) can enrich these instructional interventions tailored to enhance student self-regulation, particularly in college classrooms where students are expected to function independently.
Services include design, manufacture, tool tryout, and production molding of thermosets and thermoplastic.
The observed tool life for each insert and grade combination test was plotted along with the best-fit line, and comparisons were made about the type and progression of wear on each cutting tool insert.
But tools have become an increasingly common choice.
As a major component in simplifying the overall design process, the System Generator for DSP tool now also allows designers to insert ChipScope Internal Logic Analyzer (ILA) probes directly into the system model to debug and verify internal signals within the FPGA at or near system operating speeds.
The old notion that people are the sole users of tools has collapsed in recent decades in response to reports of tool-wielding chimps, orangutans, and Galapagos woodpecker finches.
Up until six months ago, DB2 users had to choose from a small list of high-priced tools vendors -- such as BMC and CA," said Janet Perna, IBM general manager of data management solutions.
IF WE HAD NOT invented tools to help us cope with natural events, we humans would probably exist today only as fossils.
The 500,000th development tool shipped is the MPLAB([R]) PM3 Universal Device Programmer.
Services include product and tool design, patterns, models; mold repairs and modifications and processing service assistance; and head tooling, transfer, and trim-tooling accessories.
Want to submit a file or tool of your own for distribution at TDUG?
They present a single point of contact to the customer (including a single purchase order); divide the work among the coalition members; do program management across firms, for the customer; and agree to utilize common standards for engineering changes, tool design, and other elements of the tool build process.
In reference to common tool and mold making, the production of molds for tire sidewalls shows a peculiarity: The workpieces are rotationally symmetrical.