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Author Topic: "Tool" as an insult
Agent 204
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posted 16 April 2005 09:54 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I see it on web forums fairly often. Is it because "tool" is slang for penis, or because the poster is accusing the person of being a tool of the enemy, i.e. someone who allows themself to be used to promote an agenda?
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 16 April 2005 09:57 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always thought of "tool" as slang for penis. And while it's not one of the insults I generally use, it sometimes tickles me when used judiciously.

Oh shut up. I mean the INSULT tickles me when I HEAR it used judiciously.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 16 April 2005 10:36 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is it a "down east" insult, too? I find I don't hear it as much out west. Has anyone else noticed that?
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
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posted 16 April 2005 10:39 AM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That could be. I don't recall hearing it used much in Winnipeg. Actually I don't hear it much here either; mostly on the net.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 16 April 2005 10:43 AM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Huh. I remember it being used as an insult when I was a kid (30something years ago), mainly in the context of being stupid, as in 'dumb as a hammer.'
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andrean
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posted 16 April 2005 10:59 AM      Profile for andrean     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I only know one person who uses "tool" as an insult and she does so with real verve, employing a Popeye-esque accent for additional contempt. I always thought of it as slang for "penis", similar to calling someone a "dick".
From: etobicoke-lakeshore | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 16 April 2005 11:12 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rick Mercer and Mary Walsh both use it, I've noticed.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 16 April 2005 11:37 AM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not a bad insult, but I really prefer asshat, assclown, rain man and dumbass (although the latter two always seems to be directed at me).
From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
spatrioter
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posted 16 April 2005 12:11 PM      Profile for spatrioter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm. I always use it in the context of "you're a tool of the Man".

You're voting strategically? Man, you are such a tool.


From: Trinity-Spadina | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 16 April 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think I've ever heard "tool" used as an insult, though upon reading the first post, my first reaction was to say that it makes more sense in the 2nd context or how spatrioter uses it.
From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 16 April 2005 01:04 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Q107 has that dumbass Deringer in the morning with his "Tool of the Day". Most of the time the things that he says border on offensive...Or just plain stupid.

If they weren't the only damnedably good-music playing radio station, I wouldn't EVER have to hear that annoying and egotistical ranting.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Suzette
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posted 16 April 2005 01:16 PM      Profile for Suzette     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Tool" is in regular use as an insult in Australia, or my little corner of it at least. I have no idea of its origins there, but it's used in the same way North Americans might use "jerk".

Actually, it's news to me that it's used anywhere else. Hum... well... there you go...


From: Pig City | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bobolink
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posted 16 April 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for Bobolink   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I always remember the commercial by Gillette of an actor dressed up as Fidel Castro denouncing the Excel razor as a "capitalist tool".
From: Stirling, ON | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 16 April 2005 01:59 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It was used in the West 30 years ago, but I never hear it any more, except on TV and by Newfie comedians.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
aRoused
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posted 17 April 2005 07:55 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd always assumed it was of the 'dumb as a bag of hammers' variety: You're about as useful as big immobile lump of metal.

Waterloo engineers might take exception to that, however.


From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 17 April 2005 09:48 AM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have always used it as a tool like a useless tool. For actions that are completely useless in any given contextual value, like bringing a hammer when you need a screwdriver. Or in a situation where you just have to roll your eyes over the stupidity of action. I have never given any bodypart mental construct.

If I want to call someone a prick, peckerhead or a dickhead, I use those terms. The emotional basis for using them is different than saying tool.


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Hegemo
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posted 17 April 2005 02:13 PM      Profile for The Hegemo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It seems to be a regional thing south of the border as well. I grew up in the Midwestern U.S. and had never really heard it used as an insult until I went away to college in Upstate New York (in the early 90s). My classmates there, who were mostly from New England or New York State, used it all the time. (They also used to say "booted" instead of "puked" which was also new to me..okay, it was a big drinking school; that term was used pretty often ) I adopted it into my repertoire for a time, but stopped using it as much after I graduated. Still, there are times when it feels like no other word will suffice in describing someone: "He's a complete tool!"
From: The Persistent Vegetative States of America | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
sid hartha
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posted 17 April 2005 06:06 PM      Profile for sid hartha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Tool" is definately not confined to the east, but rather commonly used by those of us who posess a certain "hoseresque" sensibility (eh?). I have always thought it to be based on a penile euphemism, but it lacks the edge that calling someone a "dick" has. He/she who is a "tool" is more akin to a moron.
From: each according to his abilities, etc. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 17 April 2005 06:29 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Out here in sunny Saskatchewan the term "tool" has been used for a very long time. Back in my high school years (early to mid '80s), it was used to mean somebody who was rude, ignorant and slow-witted -- the equivalent of "dick", only dumber.
From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 17 April 2005 06:41 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, in my understanding of the term, a tool is a person who is a dick who is also a dolt. So, a doltish dick. A cretinous cock. A pinheaded penis (two for the price of one there). A poltroonish pecker. A dullwitted dink. A boobish boner. A moronic manroot, even.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 18 April 2005 12:11 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Poltroonish pecker" eh? A male wallflower?
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verbatim
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posted 18 April 2005 12:19 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK, I was reaching a bit.
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Left Turn
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posted 18 April 2005 01:00 AM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've heard the term 'tool' used in this line from the song "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" by David Rovics.

"If your don't like your congressman and you call him a corporate tool."


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
angrymonkey
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posted 18 April 2005 05:20 AM      Profile for angrymonkey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found this definition
tool n 1. a person who is impressionable, easily used by others; LOSER; WANNA-BE. ("That guy is such a tool. He would do anything to be accepted.")

But it seems to be a tossup between dick or dumbasss.


From: the cold | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
smokingeatingdrinkingprohibited
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posted 18 April 2005 09:47 AM      Profile for smokingeatingdrinkingprohibited     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We used to throw around tool box a lot for someone who wasn't very bright. As in, "I wouldn't trust his judgement he's a real tool box." Used like Door knob.

I never thought of tool as a synonym for penis, but I guess knob gets used that way too.


From: Glasgee | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 18 April 2005 12:18 PM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really don't see why this is even being discussed....
But I'll take part regardless.
Tool, to an extent, does means dumb, but also means usefully dumb. For example; soldiers are tools. As in the typical "grunt" of a soldier. The first thing i thought of in the thread titles was the band (my favorite) TOOL. The band name "Tool" was chosen as a critisism of society and specifically the military.

From: hamilton | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
smokingeatingdrinkingprohibited
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posted 19 April 2005 10:43 AM      Profile for smokingeatingdrinkingprohibited     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Tool, to an extent, does means dumb, but also means usefully dumb.

I like this explanation of the use of the term.

Thanks!


From: Glasgee | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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