jack of all trades


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jack of all trades

A person who is skilled in many different areas. My father could fix cars, build furniture, and program computers—he was a jack of all trades.
See also: all, jack, of, trade

jack of all trades someone

who can do several different jobs instead of specializing in one. John can do plumbing, carpentry, and roofing—a real jack of all trades. He isn't very good at any of them. Take your car to a certified engine mechanic, not a jack of all trades.
See also: all, jack, of, trade

a jack of all trades

1. If you describe someone as a jack of all trades, you mean that they have many different work skills. His father, after leaving the army, was a jack of all trades.
2. If you describe someone as a jack of all trades, you can also mean that they can do a large number of different things but that they are not very good at doing any of them. His critics sometimes described him as a jack of all trades. Note: You can also say that someone is a jack of all trades and master of none. I believe in specialisation. Too many photographers are jacks of all trades and masters of none. Note: In the past, the name Jack was used to refer to any man or workman.
See also: all, jack, of, trade

jack of all trades (and master of none)

a person who can do many different types of work (but has special skill in none).
Jack is used here to mean a ‘general labourer’ or ‘odd-job man’, a sense dating from the mid 19th century.
See also: all, jack, of, trade

a jack of ˈall trades

a person who can do many different kinds of work, but perhaps does not do them very well: He repairs cars, he paints houses, he makes furniture. He’s a real jack of all trades.
The full expression is ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.
See also: all, jack, of, trade

jack of all trades

A person who is good at everything. This term dates from 1600 or before. An early appearance in print is in Geffray Mynshul’s Essayes and Characters of a Prison (1618). Further, it was pointed out even earlier that someone good at everything is not outstanding at anything. This observation occurs in an ancient Roman proverb, but only much later was put as jack of all trades, master of none by Maria Edgeworth (Popular Tales: Will, 1800).
See also: all, jack, of, trade

jack of all trades

A versatile person. “Jack” was commonly used as a synonym for “man,” as in “every man jack,” and the phrase was used in a highly complimentary way. But the addition of “and master of none” changed the expression to mean a dabbler or dilettante, which wasn't very flattering at all.
See also: all, jack, of, trade
References in periodicals archive ?
"So now you know the ups and downs," concluded the Birmingham apprentice, "of a jolly jack of all trades" and he went off to find another job.
Not only have Jack of All Trades created two mind-blowing 50th Anniversary Marvel t-shirts, they have also come up with some out-of-this-world retro designs.
The "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" phrase comes to mind, however, the secondary principal must become the Master of All Trades, period.
One of the biggest issues facing Finance Wales is that it is perceived as a 'jack of all trades.' On the one hand it is viewed as an equity house, but on the other as a provider of a wide range of loans (some micro) to companies, as well as providing debt and equity mezzanine-type funding.
If Novartis, the world's fifth-largest drug company, is trying to be a jack of all trades, it hasn't succeeded so far.
Everyone knows the saying "Jack of all trades, master of none." That could be the outcome of wearing too many professional hats.
I'm kind of like a jack of all trades. I have my hands in a lot of things.
"To run finance at an Internet start-up, you have to be a jack of all trades," says Aver.
Given these complicating factors, we can see how the cereal scientist is forced to become something of a jack of all trades. They must acquire an understanding of chemistry, biochemistry, physics, engineering and many other areas of the sciences.
Richard was known as a jack of all trades by his friends and family and was always willing to help.
Hardworking Matt Frost is the ultimate Jack of all trades - he's had 52 different jobs in 2013.
The ex-Portsmouth and Sheffield United man (left) is Forest's jack of all trades. Usually a right-back, he starred at centreforward against QPR on Boxing Day - and scored his first goal of the season.
"The folks at Jack of All Trades Clothing are the most environmentally-friendly, local labor supporters of North America I have ever seen.
In addition, women have to contend with hormonal inconsistencies, as well as the trauma of giving birth and being "Jack of all trades" for their children.
"I came here in 2004 as the senior coach but now I'm a jack of all trades.