tinkering

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vil

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Dear teachers,

There are two sentences where I saw for first time a new for me word namely “tinkering”.

“Tom and Fred are in the garage tinkering with the car.”

“He’s been tinkering with the wireless for hours but he can’t get it to work.”

I made inquiries about the verb “tinker” in a few different and it goes without saying very reliable Dictionaries. As a result I obtained the meaning “to work as a tinker”, ”to handle something idly, ignorantly, or destructively”. I think, the word was originally used to mean the repair of kettles, saucepans, etc. by a “tinker”, an itinerant metal worker, often a Gypsy. Therefore the proper meaning of the verb in question would have to be “work amateurishly at some sort of repairs”.

Would you tell me whether the usage of the word in question is common in your area?

Thank you in advance for your efforts.

Regards.

V.
 

susiedqq

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Your definition is correct. However, with a verb ending like -ing it is a verb meaning the same " to idly or amateurishly work at something".
 

mykwyner

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Yes, this word is in common usage in my area, and “work amateurishly at some sort of repairs,” is a very good definition of its usage. It also means to adjust, tamper, change slightly or play with. I think its original meaning was a metal worker who works with tin, another word for a tinsmith.
 

vil

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Hi Susiedqq,

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Thank you also for your plausible modification of the original definition.

Regards.

V.
 

vil

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Sep 13, 2007
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Hi mykwyner,

Thank you for your kindness.

Thank you also for your professional cultivtion my original definition.

Regards.

V.
 
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