English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some men are really good at fixing things, especially the household appliances while they're not specialists or technician. Is there any words to explain these people?

share|improve this question
You might call him marriageable. – onomatomaniak Nov 10 '11 at 19:06
@onomatomaniak, one can argue that if you'd marry him, you will never see brand new anything for the rest of your life. – whitequark Nov 10 '11 at 23:28
I would call them Tim. :) – user712092 Nov 10 '11 at 23:43
up vote 48 down vote accepted

Handy, which is something I'm not. (Just ask my wife...) MW says:

clever in using the hands especially in a variety of convenient ways [a man who is handy around the house]

share|improve this answer
But seldom applied to women, I think. 'A handy woman' suggests something altogether different. – Barrie England Nov 10 '11 at 17:23
@BarrieEngland: Handy without man or woman attached suffices. I had a girlfriend who was handy; she made furniture, and kept her BMW 2002 in tune... – Gnawme Nov 10 '11 at 17:29
@Gnawme: Well, but "handy" is an adjective. You can say, "I need someone handy to fix this toaster", but you wouldn't say, "Fred got a job as a handy." – Jay Nov 10 '11 at 17:33
The "handy" in "handy woman" to me suggests "nearby" :) – JeffSahol Nov 10 '11 at 17:37
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." (from the Red Green show) Meaning that you should be able to fix or build things. – LarsH Nov 10 '11 at 22:27

The person is called a "handyman".

A handyman is a person skilled at a wide range of repairs, typically around the home.

From Wikipedia

share|improve this answer
Well, there's a subtlety there. I think "handy man" -- two words -- normally refers to any man who is skilled at fixing things around the house. But "handyman" -- one word -- is an occupation, someone who does minor repairs and upgrades for a living. – Jay Nov 10 '11 at 17:27
@Jay Not necessarily. From that same article, "The term handyman increasingly describes a paid worker, but it also includes non-paid homeowners or do-it-yourselfers." – LarsTech Nov 10 '11 at 17:31

Jack of all trades, odd-job man might be synonyms of handyman.

share|improve this answer

Other more formal solutions:

  • Maintenance worker *
  • Maintenance man
  • Repairman
  • Service man
  • Repairer *

Other potential creative solutions:

  • Fixer-upper *
  • Mr. Fix-it
  • DIY expert *
  • DIYer * (term presented by Izkata)
  • Handy Andy
  • Handy Mandy ** (term created by rachet freak)

Gender neutral terms are marked with an asterisk *

Gender female terms are marked with two asterisks **

share|improve this answer
Handy Mandy for the females ;) – ratchet freak Nov 11 '11 at 1:26
I would be wary of calling someone a "fixer-upper" -- to me that means they have something wrong with themselves, since I usually hear, e.g., "that house is a fixer-upper". – Justin Nov 11 '11 at 12:45
Ah, but that's all about how you use the sentence and the context surrounding it. If we are talking about insane asylums, yes, that would be a legitimate interpretation of the sentence. However, if I said, "This house has so much wrong with it, good thing Mandy is such a good fixer-upper", I think the meaning is clear. (+1 on Handy Mandy btw) – ChrisM Nov 11 '11 at 15:47
+1, I also see "DIYer" in those circles online on occasion – Izkata Nov 11 '11 at 18:56

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.