Jack of all trades, master of none

“Jack of all trades, master of none” is a figure of speech used in reference to a person that is competent with many skills but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one.

The earliest recorded versions of the phrase do not contain the second part. Indeed they are broadly positive in tone. Such a Jack of all trades may be a master of integration, as such an individual knows enough from many learned trades and skills to be able to bring their disciplines together in a practical manner. This person is a generalist rather than a specialist. A person who is exceptional in many disciplines is known as a polymath or a “Renaissance man”; a typical example is Leonardo da Vinci. The phrase became increasingly cynical in connotation during the 20th century.
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