As the title says, what is the opposite of "Jack of all trades master of none"?

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    This is too vague. Is this "opposite Jack" master of all the trades he plies, or only one? Is he prepared to have a go at anything, or does he only work in one specialised area? – FumbleFingers Jun 28 '12 at 21:33

If the opposite is a "Jack of none, master of one (or a few)" then I think the opposite would be a Specialist.

If the opposite is "Master of all trades, jack of none", you could use omnipotent, as Matt Эллен suggested.

If the opposite in mind is "Jack of none, master of none", you could use unskilled or untrained. J.R. suggested in a comment that novice or neophyte could also be used. You could also use incompetent but that usually has negative connotations.

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    For your second one, it could be omnipotent. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 28 '12 at 21:08
  • As Robin Williams said to his son, "How should I know ? I'm not Buddha. Go ask your mother; she's omnipotent." – MT_Head Jun 28 '12 at 21:19
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    I like specialist quite a bit for #1, but I like cornbread's suggestion for #2 (polymath or Renaissance man). As for #3, a couple more suggestions might be novice or neophyte. What I like most about your answer, though, was how you broke it up into three possible ways to form an antonym ~ nicely done. – J.R. Jun 28 '12 at 21:39

Renaissance man or polymath.

A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much")1 is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.

The common term Renaissance man is used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields.[3] The concept emerged from the numerous great thinkers of that era who excelled in multiple fields of the arts and science, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Copernicus and Francis Bacon; the emergence of these thinkers was likewise attributed to the then rising notion in Renaissance Italy expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): that "a man can do all things if he will."

  • A fine answer indeed! It really depends on whether the "anti-JOAT" is good at one or many things. – Astyanax Jun 28 '12 at 21:18
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    Antijoat. This is a great coined term. Who cares what it means. – MetaEd Jun 29 '12 at 4:23
  • Just the antithesis of "Jack Of All Trades". Point is: is he a Master of one, or Master of all? Because I'm sure a renaissance man can't be, for example, an expert on every field of Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics. – Astyanax Jun 29 '12 at 20:23

You could also think of an expert on a topic, a master in some skill, because he's probably too focused on his subject to achieve that level of mastery in a second skill.


If the opposite is being a specialist, "one-trick pony" is a good phrase.

A person or group noteworthy for only a single achievement, skill, or characteristic.


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    Welcome to EL&U. Our site favors definitive answers, which provide a complete explanation that includes examples, references, and links as may be appropriate. In short, you should indicate why you suggest this phrase, what it means, where it comes from, how it is used, etc. I strongly encourage you to take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – choster Mar 2 '16 at 22:06

protected by user140086 Mar 2 '16 at 11:05

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