Some men are really good at fixing things, especially household appliances (though they're not really specialists or technicians). Are there any words to describe or refer to these people?

  • 23
    You might call him marriageable.
    – user13141
    Nov 10, 2011 at 19:06
  • 3
    @onomatomaniak, one can argue that if you'd marry him, you will never see brand new anything for the rest of your life.
    – Catherine
    Nov 10, 2011 at 23:28
  • youtu.be/dXI43zGeyu4
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4, 2023 at 21:29

4 Answers 4


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]

  • 6
    But seldom applied to women, I think. 'A handy woman' suggests something altogether different. Nov 10, 2011 at 17:23
  • 2
    @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, 2011 at 17:29
  • 1
    @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, 2011 at 17:33
  • 4
    The "handy" in "handy woman" to me suggests "nearby" :)
    – JeffSahol
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:37
  • 5
    "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, 2011 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

  • 10
    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, 2011 at 17:27
  • 5
    @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, 2011 at 17:31

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


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 **

  • 4
    Handy Mandy for the females ;) Nov 11, 2011 at 1:26
  • 2
    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, 2011 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, 2011 at 15:47
  • 1
    +1, I also see "DIYer" in those circles online on occasion
    – Izkata
    Nov 11, 2011 at 18:56

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