a bad workman blames his tools

a bad workman blames his tools
Cf. late 13th-cent. Fr. mauvés ovriers ne trovera ja bon hostill, a bad workman will never find a good tool.

1611 R. COTGRAVE Dict. French & English s.v. Outil, A bungler cannot find (or fit himselfe with) good tooles.

1640 G. HERBERT Outlandish Proverbs no. 67 Never had ill workeman good tooles.

1859 S. SMILES Self-Help iv. It is proverbial that the bad workman never yet had a good tool.

1940 J. G. COZZENS Ask Me Tomorrow vii. I’ve read somewhere that a poor workman quarrels with his tools.

1979 A. FOX Threat Signal Red XV. Damn! Dropped the screwdriver... Bad workmen blame their tools.

2001 Washington Times 19 Aug. B8 ‘Virtuous War’ starts off with a bad idea, proceeds to a pair of disasters, then gets worse. As for the fundamental reason for its failure—for now let’s just say, it’s a poor workman who blames his lousy tools.

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  • (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 …   New idioms dictionary

  • a bad workman always blames his tools — ► a bad workman always blames his tools proverb a person who has done something badly will blame their equipment rather than admit their own lack of skill. Main Entry: ↑workman …   English terms dictionary

  • bad — see a bad excuse is better than none bad money drives out good bad news travels fast a bad penny always turns up bad things come in threes there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • workman — see a bad workman blames his tools …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • workman — ► NOUN 1) a man employed to do manual labour. 2) a person who works in a specified way. ● a bad workman always blames his tools Cf. ↑a bad workman always blames his tools …   English terms dictionary

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Orienteering map — An orienteering map is a map specially prepared for use in orienteering competitions. It is a topographic map with extra details to help the competitor navigate through the competition area. These maps are much more detailed than general purpose… …   Wikipedia

  • accusation — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Act of accusing Nouns 1. (charge) accusation, charge, incrimination, inculpation; condemnation, denunciation, invective, implication, imputation, blame, reproach, recrimination; censure. Informal, finger …   English dictionary for students

  • blame — see a bad workman blames his tools common fame is seldom to blame …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • quarrel — noun see it takes two to make a quarrel the quarrel of lovers is the renewal of love verb see a bad workman blames his tools …   Proverbs new dictionary

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