tool

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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

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

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

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

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

tools of the trade

also the tools of somebody's trade
the things that are needed in order to do a job Eileen's dress-making shop had buttons and thread and needles and scissors, all the tools of the trade.
See also: of, tool, trade

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

down tools

  (British & Australian)
to refuse to work, especially because you are not satisfied with your pay or working conditions Thousands of Krakow steelworkers downed tools to demand more pay.
See also: down, tool

the tools of the/your trade

the things that you need to use in order to do a job For the modern sales executive, a car phone is one of the tools of the trade.
See down tools
See also: of, tool, trade

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

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