An assistant who is capable of many different types of tasks. I like to have my son be my man Friday during "take your child to work" day. He's a better worker than some of my employees!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Trusted assistant. This term comes from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), in which Crusoe found a young savage on a Friday, and this man became his faithful servant and companion on the desert island. “I take my man Friday with me,” said Crusoe. Some mid-twentieth-century advertising pundit invented “girl Friday”—or gal Friday—to describe the female clerk-of-all-work, presumably on the assumption that it lent some glamour to a low-level, poorly paid position. It caught on mainly through being used as the title of a 1940 motion picture starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, His Girl Friday. In the 1970s, when affirmative action came to the American labor market, the term fell into disrepute.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer