- a gypsy.
- any itinerant worker.
- a wanderer.
- a beggar.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- tinker with,
- tinker's cuss,
- tinker's dam,
- tinker's damn,
- tinker's weed
Origin of tinker
Examples from the Web for tinkered
“Crazy Henry,” the neighbors dubbed him when he tinkered in his garage.Henry Ford Understood That Raising Wages Would Bring Him More Profit|Daniel Gross|January 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He is 100 percent opposed to derailing the American Dream by allowing sequestration to be tinkered with.
Doe had no formal engineering training, but he tinkered endlessly.
The Coca-Cola Company should have headed those wise words before it went and tinkered with its beloved product.
To the paper's credit, it has now at least tinkered with the obituary online.
They tinkered at it for an hour and more, Jack coming over to take a hand; but apparently little progress was made.Motor Boat Boys on the Great Lakes|Louis Arundel
I have “tinkered” it by adding the two syllables “and clear” to make the line complete.The Note-Books of Samuel Butler|Samuel Butler
The driver buried himself under the hood and tinkered with the engine for a few minutes.Janet Hardy in Radio City|Ruthe S. Wheeler
The car went to the bad again at Wynton, and he and Barney tinkered with it until two-forty.The Window at the White Cat|Mary Roberts Rinehart
The shallower artist ever tinkered with new devices,—to some effects, in truth.Symphonies and Their Meaning; Third Series, Modern Symphonies|Philip H. Goepp
Word Origin for tinker
"mender of kettles, pots, pans, etc.," mid-13c. (as a surname), of uncertain origin. Some connect the word with the sound made by light hammering on metal. The verb meaning "to keep busy in a useless way" is first found 1650s. Tinker's damn "something slight and worthless" is from 1824, probably simply preserving tinkers' reputation for free and casual use of profanity; more elaborate derivations exist, but seem to be just-so stories without evidence.
In addition to the idiom beginning with tinker
- tinker with
- not worth a damn (tinker's damn)