Is anything man a word (noun)?

Is there a synonym or a better word?

Context (my emphasis):

After college he was working for Fawcette Technical Publications (as anything man - design, editing, helping plan the conferences like VBITS and VSLive!).

  • 4
    It's definitely not a word, as it's at least two words. Jul 30 '11 at 13:28
  • @JSBangs: what is the correct term then? Compound word? Compound noun? Idiom? Jul 30 '11 at 15:00
  • @JSBangs: Doesn't that depend on your definition of "word"? I believe many phrases are conveniently called "words" in certain contexts, such as post office, fool proof, etc. Jul 30 '11 at 21:14

Though anything man is not a common term, some good synonyms are:

  • jack-of-all-trades - a person who is adept at many different kinds of work.
  • factotum - 1. a person, as a handyman or servant, employed to do all kinds of work around the house. 2. any employee or official having many different responsibilities.
  • handyman - a person hired to do various small Jobs [sic], especially in the maintenance of an apartment building, office building, or the like.
  • tinker - 3. a person skilled in various minor kinds of mechanical work; jack-of-all-trades.
  • I believed Dictionary.com at first for proteus and pantologist, but vetoed them after seeing their definition.
    – Daniel
    Jul 30 '11 at 13:48
  • 1
    Also chief cook and bottle washer, which notwithstanding Wikipedia's definition, I don't particularly associate with being "the boss" so much as "the poor sod who has to do just about everything". Jul 30 '11 at 14:21
  • 1
    I think factotum comes closest, given the context. However Wiktionary says "dated". Jul 30 '11 at 15:07
  • 1
    @drm: I mostly heard it associated with master of none. However I agree that it can be used without any negative acception. I would however prefer factotum in that case.
    – nico
    Jul 30 '11 at 16:11
  • 1
    @nico: I personally love that word, and keep wondering why it's not used more often.
    – Daniel
    Jul 30 '11 at 16:12

"Anything man" is not an established idiom that I've ever heard. However, within the context that you've provided its meaning is readily deduced as referring to someone who does anything, so I would say that you should feel free to use it.


Try Polymath instead, it is much nicer. Also according to this even if it was possible to have such phrase then it would be "Everything Man" but not "Anything Man"

  • 2
    A polymath doesn't have the connotation of being an employee. Jul 30 '11 at 15:47
  • @Peter : Aaargh, should have paid attention to the context emphesis, thanks Peter.
    – jimjim
    Jul 30 '11 at 15:52
  • Polymath assistant might work, but I like anything man better. Jul 31 '11 at 13:45

What about handyman?

handyman (noun) - a man skilled in various odd jobs and other small tasks.

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