How Well Do You Know English Slang?
Old English tol "instrument, implement," from Proto-Germanic *tolan (cf. Old Norse tol), from a verb stem represented by Old English tawian "prepare." The ending is the instrumental suffix -l (e.g. shovel). Figurative sense of "person used by another for his own ends" is recorded from 1660s. Slang meaning "penis" first recorded 1550s.
"to drive a vehicle," 1812, probably from tool (n.). The meaning "to work or shape with a tool" is recorded from 1815; that of "equip (a factory) with machine tools" is from 1927. Related: Tooled; tooling.
[underworld sense perhaps fr the practice of using a small boy as a sort of tool in pickpocketing, or perhaps fr Romany tool, ''handle, take''; second verb sense fr earlier tool, ''a whip'']
2. A Unix application program with a simple, "transparent" (typically text-stream) interface designed specifically to be used in programmed combination with other tools (see filter, plumbing).