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I'm thinking of "a one-shot gun" vs. "an automatic machine gun", or vs. "an all-purpose tool" (although tool lacks oomph). Any ideas?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

If it is a tool, then a swiss-army knife approach comes to mind.

If it is a person, then a Renaissance man or a polymath might work.

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1  
Much of this depends on context, but the real McCoy (or, the real deal) might also be used, as in: "The band Looking Glass was a one-hit wonder, but the Rolling Stones are the real McCoy." – J.R. Apr 7 '13 at 20:26

The opposite of a one-trick pony is (sadly mundanely) an all-rounder. 'Having more than one string to one's bow' is more picturesque.

The opposite of a one-trick wonder is an evergreen. One could probably find instances of perennial being used in an analogous nounal (metaphorical) way. Certainly it is used in this sense as an adjective: Perennial classic-rock favorite, ... , though the 'success' allusion is here added.

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Except for perennial, these expressions are unfamiliar to me as a Canadian. Where are they used? – Wayne Johnston Apr 7 '13 at 20:37
    
All-rounder: About 5,970,000 times (ignoring filtering out repeats) on Google. Mainly British, often in the sports (especially cricket) domain. Evergreen is harder to pin down for the metaphorical sense; 'the "evergreen" Tom Jones' and 'The first song you hear in the trailer is an evergreen.' are two Google hits, but the term used to be quite common on popular (not pop) music shows on the radio - mainly for old favourite numbers, but also for enduringly popular artistes (Cliff, the Stones). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 7 '13 at 23:14

A person who is good at many things but not an expert in any particular field is a

Jack of all trades but master of none.

A tool could be multi-purpose, all-singing-all-dancing, [an ordinary tool] with knobs on. If you're into sci fi it could be a sonic screwdriver.

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Your answer brings up a good point about "opposites". I would think that the opposite of a one-trick pony would be someone who is expert at many things, not just one. That said, there is often more than one valid way to make an opposite, which is why the opposite of light could be dark, or the opposite of light could be heavy. – J.R. Apr 7 '13 at 23:26

If it has to be used for a person you can say multifaceted, ambidextrous, all-round.


The job requires a multifaceted person and not a one-trick pony.


For a tool you can use all-purpose, handy

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If it's a person, how about calling them a MacGyver type?

(based on the resourceful character on a still relatively well-known late-80's TV series)

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For all purpose tool try Leatherman.

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The oppossite to a one trick pony would be a losers definition to a result of anothers success, accomplishment,loss or win in a challenge through deliverance and execution. The sarcastic way to define an exquisite look for an answer that can not bequestioned by any other because the result in any question thereof be contained in the answer given by the one trick pony's answer whom has been shared shown or gave answer that cannot be questioned as no faults can be found but be given critic where ur critic is also being assessed as a question.. either way its the whom who uses the term that sets the standard of what n how they mean when they put that term in use.

To determine the opposite of a one trick pony or one hit wonder you ask the question of what sustained these labells of one trick pony or one hit wonder..

All has and must be taken into consideration... meaning to react in many ways to proove or show your worth and verse or go up against only to pull out all stops and figure out or realise that no matter what you do or how you do it and that no trick,trade or hit will receive the or any attention or recognition as of that whom be known as a one trick pony or one hit wonder..

I would say based on my explanation with mine own two sense i would call the oppossite of the two phrases "hard is sweat still no end" or "a wonder in 1 tick" and thats to give an answer without thought you know coz this might just be a one hit wonder in disguise..

An answer to retaliate to a jealous based remark if that is what it be through smarts sarcasm and humor.

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Can you stop giving hints and just give us the answer? – OldBunny2800 yesterday

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