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a bad carpenter 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. 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 bad carpenters blame their tools, dear." The football player blamed the rainy weather for his poor performance, but as they say, a bad carpenter always blames his tools.
See also: bad, blame, carpenter, tool

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

a poor craftsman 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. 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." The football player blamed the rainy weather for his poor performance, but as they say, a poor craftsman always blames his tools.
See also: blame, poor, tool

bad workers always blame their tools

proverb 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

don't be a fool, wrap your tool

cliché It is foolish not to wear a condom during sexual intercourse and risk pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. A: "I've got a hot date with a girl I met on campus last week!" B: "Good luck, dude. Just remember, don't be a fool, wrap your tool!"
See also: tool, wrap

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

garden tool

vulgar slang A derogatory term for a woman considered promiscuous. The term plays on the meanings of "ho" (a derogatory slang term for a prostitute or woman considered promiscuous) and "hoe" (a tool used for tilling soil). You can't go home with him—he'll think you're a garden tool!
See also: garden, tool

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

proverb Provide someone with that which they lack, and they will complete the task, often after others have abandoned or struggled with it. When my mother forgot about my limited budget and criticized my new apartment's lack of furniture, I simply held out my hand for money and said, "Give us the tools, and we will finish the job." Part of the building is still under construction because the company stopped funding it. Just give us the tools, and we will finish the job!
See also: and, finish, give, we, will

idle hands are the devil's tools

proverb When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. Idle hands are the devil's tools, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. Idle hands are the devil's tools, after all.
See also: hand, idle, tool

it's a poor carpenter who 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. 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, "It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools, dear." The football player blamed the rainy weather for his poor performance, but as they say, it's a poor carpenter who blames his tools.
See also: blame, carpenter, poor, tool, who

it's a poor workman who 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. 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, "It's a poor workman who blames his tools, dear." The football player blamed the rainy weather for his poor performance, but as they say, it's a poor workman who blames his tools.
See also: blame, poor, tool, who, workman

it's ill jesting with edged tools

proverb Casually engaging with dangerous people or things is likely to cause harm. You're right, I don't speed when I'm driving in the rain, not even a little bit. That's because my mom taught me that it's ill jesting with edged tools. You're picking fights with known gang members, Tom. I know you're a tough guy and all, but it's ill jesting with edged tools.
See also: edge, ill, jest, tool

not the sharpest tool in the box

Not intelligent; stupid or dim-witted. Her new boyfriend isn't the sharpest tool in the box, but he's pretty good looking! I wasn't the sharpest tool in the box in school, but I still managed to find a profession I loved.
See also: box, not, sharp, tool

not the sharpest tool in the shed

Not intelligent; dim-witted or prone to stupidity. 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

power tool

A tool that receives power other than from one's hands to operate, typically electricity. Make sure you keep your power tools locked up and out of sight of the children. If you're looking for something to get your aunt for Christmas, you can never go wrong with a good power tool. I think she's been eyeing up a new belt sander.
See also: power, 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

tool around

1. To wander around (some place) aimlessly or idly, doing nothing in particular. We had a few hours to kill before we had to catch our train, so we just tooled around downtown for a while. The scenic boardwalk is a great place to tool around if you have some spare time on your hands.
2. To drive around (some place) in one's car with no purpose, direction, or end point in mind. I remember spending hours when we were teenagers just tooling around in our parents' cars or the crappy rust buckets our friends had saved up to buy. I love tooling around the countryside in my new roadster.
See also: around, 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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There are studies that show the use of EMR systems with CDS tools will greatly facilitate the physician's ability to address the multiple complex issues at the time of the visit and increase the physician's use of evidence-based protocols.
Not only do we see changes in the substrates or core materials but also in the variety of laminates and surface treatments themselves," said John Michel, director of Sales and Technical Services at Leuco Tool Corp.
The Thai massage tools and Thai massage tool packages are available at BestMassage.com under the Massage Tool category.
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The first category of WBPT that a college instructor could use to set up his or her learning environment and to prompt students to self-regulate is content creation and delivery tools. For example, WebCT has an Assignment feature that allows instructors to post an assignment or class activity and related resources and examples, assign points to the activity, and list a start and end date, enabling students to engage in goal setting, a self regulation process of the forethought phase.
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sapiens had spread through much of Indonesia by around 50,000 years ago and made stone tools similar to those found on Flores, Shea notes.
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* explosive ordnance disposal response tool kit (EOD response),
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Generic Software Tools enable users to document internal controls, reduce potential risks and provide some level of comfort that compliance initiatives are in place.
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