Tools of the Trade: What Is the Meaning of this Useful Idiomatic Phrase?

“Tools of the trade” is a helpful idiom that you may hear or see frequently. It is not an idiomatic phrase, but rather a very literal phrase. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information about its origin if there is any information available. You will also see the phrase used in some example sentences and conversations to help you gain a better understanding by allowing you to see the phrase used in the proper context. Finally, the wrap up will conclude with some suggested alternatives that you can use in place of this phrase to convey the same meaning.

Tools Of The Trade

Tools Of The Trade Meaning

The phrase “tools of the trade” means all of the skills, tools, training, and knowledge that one person needs to complete a specific task successfully.

Origin of this idiom

Although there is not much specific information as to when this phrase first came to be used, it can be said that the phrase “tools of trade” at least traces as far back as 1825. This usage occurred in England in the Bankrupts Acts 1825 and took on the same meaning it does still today.

“Tools Of The Trade” Examples

Example Sentences

  • If you lack the necessary tools of the trade you will not be able to complete your job.
  • A hammer and measuring tape are just some tools of the trade for a carpenter.

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends.

  • Friend 1: I think Casey is pretty hot!
  • Friend 2: Eww! Casey? Really?
  • Friend 1: Yes! You don’t think so?
  • Friend 2: No, and it’s not like he has the right tools for the trade either.
  • Friend 1: What are you talking about?
  • Friend 2: He is gay, Amber!

A conversation between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: How are we supposed to get anything done properly around here?
  • Co-worker 2: Beats me! They expect miracles!
  • Co-worker 1: Seriously! It would be nice if they would give us some proper tools of the trade!

Alternatives to “Tools Of The Trade”

There are several words or phrases that can be substituted for the phrase “tools of the trade” to convey the same meaning. Some of these substitutions include:

  • Tools needed to complete a job
  • Everything needed to complete a task
  • All the essential components of a job

Tools Of The Trade Meaning | Picture

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