Definition of tinker in English:
- The tinkers live by mending pots and pans, telling fortunes and selling horses and ponies at the various fairs throughout the country.
- For the first time in his life, Yllek felt a sense of awe and wonder regarding his native city, and began to understand the underlying truth behind the stories borne by travelling tinkers and bards through the outlying lands.
- The travelling folk, or tinkers, were often treated as second-class citizens, with heartbreaking consequences.
- The more confident tinker may find sport in discharging large capacitors with a well insulated screwdriver (always use an old or borrowed one as this can result in quite nasty pitting of the tip).
- In Scotland and Ireland gypsies were often called tinkers because of their similar wandering life-style.
- The gypsies or tinkers as they were better known walked around the fair the whole day trying to sell ponnies, strainers and tin cans to reluctant buyers.
- Quite near us, in Wigton, just beyond the cemetery, was a place called Black Tippoe and that was where gypsies and tinkers used to come and winter there.
verb[no object] Back to top
- Solutions do not lie in tinkering with the system, fiddling while Earth burns.
- We shouldn't be tinkering with the checks and balances our founding fathers put in this constitution.
- Luckily, I was tinkering with a design for a different site and I've decided to steal that for my re-design.
Middle English (first recorded in Anglo-Latin as a surname): of unknown origin.
We do not know where the word tinker came from, but in the past tinkers played an important role travelling round mending metal utensils. They had, however, a reputation for bad language giving us the expression not give a tinker's curse, sometimes shortened to not give a tinker's. The verb meaning ‘to attempt to repair or improve something in a casual way’ was suggested by the improvized way that tinkers worked, and is found from the mid 17th century.
not give a tinker's damn
- informal Not care at all.Example sentences
- If American jets take out Iranian enrichment facilities, I don't give a tinker's damn if the man who gave the go-order was a D or an R.
- These people don't give a tinker's damn about anyone in uniform.
- I don't give a tinker's damn whether we withdraw unilaterally or multilaterally.
- Example sentences
- But critics argue the flag is the latest attempt to wrest control from consumers, stifle innovation, create inconvenience, turn tinkerers into criminals and raise prices - all for a technology that won't stop piracy anyway.
- Only rich tinkerers could afford an automobile before Henry Ford developed an assembly line to make cars cheap and reliable enough for everyone.
- More than mere tinkerers, record-breakers push the world of possibility beyond the borders of perceived reality.
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