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Jill of all trades(, master of none)

A woman who is skilled in or adept at a wide variety of tasks or abilities (i.e., the female equivalent of "Jack of all trades"). If used with "master of none," it implies that while competent in a variety of things, she is not highly skilled in a particular one. I've had all sorts of different jobs through the years, so I consider myself quite a Jill of all trades! Mary just sort of floated between different interests after she left high school—a Jill of all trades, but master of none.
See also: all, jill, master, of

a Jill of all trades is a master of none

A woman who is somewhat skilled in or adept at a wide variety of tasks or abilities will not have the time or dedication to become truly masterful in any one thing. The female equivalent of the proverb "a Jack of all trades is a master of none." Mary just sort of floated between different interests after she left high school, but never really developed anything career-worthy. A Jill of all trades is a master of none, as they say.
See also: all, jill, master, none, of, trade

Master of the Universe

1. Literally, the supreme being; God. One must always keep in mind the designs and desires of the Master of the Universe if one wishes to enter into heaven in the afterlife.
2. By extension, an extremely powerful, successful, or wealthy person, especially someone working on Wall Street in the US financial sector. John liked to think of himself as a self-styled Master of the Universe after earning his first million playing the stock market.
See also: master, of, universe

jack of all trades, master of none

A person who is able to do many things but does not have a high amount of skill in any one area. A: "My brother can play several instruments, but none very well." B: "You know what they say—jack of all trades, master of none."
See also: all, jack, master, none, of

serve two masters

To simultaneously tend to or support or devote oneself to two different—often conflicting—responsibilities, pursuits, ideas, or people. It comes from the Biblical phrase, "No man can serve two masters." You need to decide if you are married to your wife or to your work because you simply cannot serve two masters.
See also: master, serve, two

be (one's) own master

To not be subject to or controlled by others, especially at work or at home. I have to be my own master, so I couldn't work in a big company like you and have to answer to a boss.
See also: master, own

(one's) lord and master

Someone who has total power over one. Used to humorously exaggerated effect, usually in reference to one's spouse. I'd like to hang out with you guys, but I need to go into town to pick a few things up for my lord and master.
See also: and, lord, master

Fire is a good servant but a bad master.

Prov. You must be careful to use fire wisely and under control so that it will not hurt you. Don't play with the candle flames, children. Fire is a good servant but a bad master. At camp, we learned how to build and extinguish fires safely, since fire is a good servant but a bad master.
See also: bad, but, fire, good, master

jack of all trades is a master of none

Prov. If you are able to do a lot of things fairly well, you will not have time to learn to do one thing extremely well. Jill: I envy Bob; he can do so many things. He writes novels, paints pictures, makes sculptures, and even plays the dulcimer. Jane: It's true he does a lot of things, but he probably doesn't do them all terribly well. A jack of all trades is a master of none, you know.
See also: all, jack, master, none, of, trade

No man can serve two masters.

Prov. You cannot work for two different people, organizations, or purposes in good faith, because you will end up favoring one over the other. (Biblical.) Al tried going to school and working, both full-time, but soon discovered that he could not serve two masters.
See also: can, man, master, no, serve, two

*past master (at something)

Fig. someone proven extremely good or skillful at an activity. (*Typically: be ~; become ~.) Mary is a past master at cooking omelets. Pam is a past master at the art of complaining.
See also: master, past

past master

A person who is thoroughly experienced or exceptionally skilled in some activity or craft. For example, We're lucky to get Ella, because she's a past master at fundraising. This expression probably alludes to the original literal meaning, that is, one who formerly held the post of master in a lodge or other organization. Although past mistress was used for an exceptionally skilled woman in the mid-1800s, it is heard less often today, master serving for both sexes. [Mid-1800s]
See also: master, past

serve two masters

FORMAL
If a person or organization tries to serve two masters, they try to be loyal to two opposing principles, beliefs or organizations. An organization such as the BBC can either make a profit or provide an excellent public service. It cannot, however, be asked to serve two masters. Note: This expression is used in the Bible. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: `No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.' (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)
See also: master, serve, two

serve two masters

take orders from two superiors or follow two conflicting or opposing principles or policies at the same time.
This phrase alludes to the warning given in the Bible against trying to serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24).
See also: master, serve, two

be your own ˈmaster/ˈmistress

be free to make your own decisions rather than being told what to do by somebody else: There’s no point trying to tell him what to do. He’s his own master, as you know.
See also: master, own

a ˌpast ˈmaster (in/of/at something)

a person who is very good at doing something: He’s a past master at making other people feel guilty.
See also: master, past

serve two ˈmasters

(usually used in negative sentences) support two opposing parties, principles, etc. at the same time: Government ministers are not allowed to work for private companies as nobody can serve two masters at once.This expression comes from the Bible.
See also: master, serve, two
References in classic literature ?
My father did but jest with thee, good fellow,'' said Rebecca; ``he owes thy master deeper kindness than these arms and steed could pay, were their value tenfold.
Restore to thy master that which is his due, and enrich thyself with the remainder.
And then do I lay down my swineherd's horn and staff, and take the freeman's sword and buckler, and follow my young master to the death, without hiding either my face or my name.
In fact, master," he replied, with a respectful smile, "all great philosophers have their familiar animal.
At this point Master Pedro came up in quest of Don Quixote, to tell him the show was now ready and to come and see it, for it was worth seeing.
But enough of that for the present; let us go and see Master Pedro's show, for I am sure there must be something novel in it.
said Master Pedro; "this show of mine has sixty thousand novel things in it; let me tell you, Senor Don Quixote, it is one of the best-worth-seeing things in the world this day; but operibus credite et non verbis, and now let's get to work, for it is growing late, and we have a great deal to do and to say and show.
When they came to it Master Pedro ensconced himself inside it, for it was he who had to work the puppets, and a boy, a servant of his, posted himself outside to act as showman and explain the mysteries of the exhibition, having a wand in his hand to point to the figures as they came out.
And in their use of these records Kay and Cary move from portraying a world in which masters and slaves engaged in an "ongoing dialogue" to portraying one in which masters exercised "absolute control" over their slaves.
Business and The Masters Golf Tournament will forever be linked because of its ability to open doors, help close deals, increase brand exposure and entertain key clients.
In addition, the patented and proven Nimbus translation mechanism assures robust and maintenance-free performance for positioning the features onto the master.
Masters will be responsible for all strategic direction of the company, including the completion of pre-clinical testing, expanding its investor base, initiating human clinical trials and forming global partnerships.
This new DUEL MASTERS expansion adds to the fun of the game giving players news ways to win when playing against their friends," said Scott Rouse, brand manager for DUEL MASTERS at Wizards of the Coast.
The number one game in Japan for most of the past year and a half, DUEL MASTERS is now making waves on US shores.
IDT Entertainment's New Arc Entertainment has joined with Industry Entertainment and Nice Guy Productions to produce Masters of Horror, an anthology series that assembles such prominent genre directors as John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing), Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), Mick Garris (Riding the Bullet, The Stand), Stuart Gordon (The Re-Animator), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist), John Landis (An American Wererwolf in London) and George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead), for a minimum of 13 one-hour films.
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