Poet Rupert Brooke's father was a housemaster at Rugby School. His nickname among pupils was "Tooler". What did it mean?
William Parker Brooke, Rupert’s father became Tutor at Rugby’s School Field House a fortnight after marrying Ruth Mary Cotterill in December 1879.
According to the biography Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth by Nigel Jones, it appears that William Brooke was henpecked and …
He developed eccentric habits, like taking his dog into classes, and – to the huge delight of the boys – he frequently jiggled coins and keys in his trouser pockets. The boys suspected him of playing what they called 'pocket billiards' and he acquired the indelible nickname 'the Tooler'. His wife, by extension, became 'Ma Tooler'. The fact that 'the Tooler' was in thrall to his spouse was well known ...
pocket billiards is British slang meaning
playing with one’s genitals through a trouser pocket; thus masturbating
Tool is slang for
- as a lit. or fig. bodily organ (primarily the penis)
So it seems he was nicknamed “Tooler”because of his surreptitious coin and key jangling eccentricity