a bad workman blames his tools

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a bad workman blames his tools

proverb Said of someone who performs a job poorly or unsuccessfully but lays the blame on external factors, rather than taking responsibility for their own failure. The football player blamed the rainy weather for his poor performance, but as they say, a bad workman blames his tools. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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