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English Proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools

A bad workman always blames his tools 

English Proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools
English Proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools

The proverb which is going to be discussed here in this post related to a situation in which someone who is supposed to do something perfect, will do something badly and he / she say’s it was not his fault doesn’t accept this lack of talent and skill, so he / she says this failure is related to the lack of tools.

Proverb #89

A bad workman always blames his tools

Meaning:
Failure on the job due to lack of necessary talent and justification
To blame on the equipment and tools rather than admit to their own lack of skill
To blame a mistake or failure on the things that used to work instead of accepting the lack of own skill

Let’s start our explanation with a conversational example:

Susan: The cake isn’t baked well because there is something wrong with the oven.
James: Well I think it’s the case of a bad workman is blaming his tools.

We can understand from the above example that Susan baked the cake and it doesn’t seem to be a perfect cake, so she blames the tools (the oven) and that is something wrong with that.  James thinks that Susan is an amateur in baking a cake and uses the phrase to express his words which is a very useful proverb in English.

Let’s check the meaning and explanations of this proverb in some popular dictionaries to understand its meaning better:

A bad workman always blames his tools
a bad carpenter blames his tools

a poor workman blames his tools

Oxford:

A person who has done something badly will seek to lay the blame on their equipment rather than admit their own lack of skill.

Cambridge:

UK saying – It is said when someone has blamed a mistake or failure on the things that they use to work

Dictionary.com:

Our success or failure is determined not by what we have to work with but by how we employ what we have.good workman takes care of his tools.

Based on the above definitions about this proverb, we can understand that 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. This proverb is used when someone blames the quality of their equipment or other external factors when they perform a task poorly. In other words when someone uses this proverb it means that he/she has done something by a poor quality or badly because they did not have the correct things to do it with, and actually it is because they did not have enough skill.

There is a French proverb that says “mauveés ovriers ne trovera ja bon hostill” which means: “bad workmen will never find a good tool”. This French proverb is similar to this proverb in English and it seems to be the origin of that proverb while it goes back to the 13th-century. There are some other versions for this proverb in English and these variants of this proverb can be found in English until the mid 19th century until the emergence of the modern version.

English Proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools
English Proverb: A bad workman always blames his tools

 

Let’s take a look at some examples about this idiom to understand it better:

• His client was not satisfied with his first project, and he just explained him about the bad situation he was working in, actually a bad workman blames his tools.
• She fell down while dancing and said it is because of her shoes but actually I said a bad workman blames his tools
• After they told him a bad workman blames his tools. he got angry and made his work the worst.
• After my mom blamed the oven for burning the turkey on Thanksgiving, my dad told said “a bad workman always blames his tools” in a very funny way.

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