Baltimore wrench n. a chisel and hammer; generally, as in additional forms given in citations, as a slang term a wrench is a tool used for a purpose other than that for which it was intended, especially when used as an implement of brute force. Editorial Note: Jocular or lightly derogatory. The Historical Dictionary of American Slang also records similar terms Oregon wrench (1958, included in the citations below) and canal wrench (1972) and there is an unpublished HDAS citation for big red wrench ‘an acetylene cutting torch’ (1933). The LOTJ mentioned in the citations is the Lexicon of Trade Jargon, an unpublished project of the Works Progress Administration. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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1 Response

  1. joe1137 says:

    Where I grew up, we called this misused tool an “Irish screwdriver;” especially when a hammer was used for brute force.

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