workman


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 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

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
References in classic literature ?
His accent is put on, and he can read, and I don't believe he is a workman at all.
They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages.
He is a decent, intelligent fellow, distinctly a good, reliable type of workman, and with a headpiece of his own.
In submarine works, the workman, clad in an impervious dress, with his head in a metal helmet, receives air from above by means of forcing pumps and regulators.
The lowest labourer hires himself as a workman, but he doesn't make a slave of himself altogether; besides, he knows that he will be free again presently.
If it is a workman, I need but knock against the wall, and he will cease to work, in order to find out who is knocking, and why he does so; but as his occupation is sanctioned by the governor, he will soon resume it.
When he had thoroughly washed himself, and had got the brine out of his hair, he anointed himself with oil, and put on the clothes which the girl had given him; Minerva then made him look taller and stronger than before, she also made the hair grow thick on the top of his head, and flow down in curls like hyacinth blossoms; she glorified him about the head and shoulders as a skilful workman who has studied art of all kinds under Vulcan and Minerva enriches a piece of silver plate by gilding it--and his work is full of beauty.
Neither of these persons had any concern with us, we being under the special superintendence of the head workman, but it was impossible, altogether impossible, to escape the consequences of our locales.
It was to this workman that the strong barytone belonged which was heard above the sound of plane and hammer singing--
The workman who held the plank profited by the space thus given him, and slipped the roller under the stone.
He was an expert workman, and the breach was soon made good.
The workman assented, and followed her to the landing.
I have been," proceeds the visitor in a modest, clear way, "an apprentice and a workman.
On seeing the crowd and the bloodstained man the workman ceased speaking, and with eager curiosity all the bootmakers joined the moving crowd.
I was let in by a man in livery; who, however, in manners and appearance, looked much more like a workman in disguise than a footman.