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Origins[ edit ] In Elizabethan English the quasi- New Latin term Johannes factotum "Johnny do-it-all" was sometimes used, with the same negative connotation  that "Jack of all trades" sometimes has today.
The term was famously used by Robert Greene in his booklet Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit in which he dismissively refers to actor-turned-playwright William Shakespeare with this term, the first published mention of the writer.
Inthe English-language version of the phrase appeared in the book "Essays and Jack of all trades of a Prison" by English writer Geffray Mynshul Minshull originally published in and probably based on the author's experience while held at Gray's InnLondonwhen imprisoned for debt.
Today, the phrase used in its entirety generally describes a person whose knowledge, while covering a number of areas, is superficial in all of them. When abbreviated as simply "jack of all trades", it is an ambiguous statement; the user's intention is then dependent on context. However when "master of none" is added this is unflattering and sometimes added in jest.
In other languages[ edit ] Sayings and terms resembling "jack of all trades" appear in almost all languages. Whether they are meant positively or negatively is dependent on the context.
While many of these refer to a "jack of all trades," the fundamental idea they are trying to convey may be entirely different. Hansie-my-kneg "Man of all work;" literally "Johnny-my-servant" Najdi Arabic: Home de molts oficis. Katica za sve "Kate for everything" Czech: Altmuligmand "All tasks man" - now used for handyman Tusindekunstner "thousand tasks artist" Dutch: Manusje-van-alles  "Jack-of-all", handyman.
Exact match for "Jack of all trades" is Iga asja peale Mihkelwhere Mihkel is common name in Estonia. Usually a compliment, but sometimes implies irony: Hansdampf in allen Gassen literally: In a negative sense it can be said about a person: Er kann alles, aber nichts davon richtig.
The empty house — without a spouse and children — implies poverty and lack of prosperity. Laukua "One skilled in many trades".
Mekk Elek a reference to a Hungarian television series with the same named protagonist Icelandic: Esperto di tutto, maestro in niente "Expert of everything, master of none".
Yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong berciciran "The pursued is not acquired, the held is dropped".
Whilst seeking something we want, we may lose what we already have. Altmuligmann "All tasks man" - now used for handyman Tusenkunstner "thousand tasks artist" Persian: Used only as a term of praise. Hombre orquesta "One-man band" Chile: Maestro Chasquilla "Fringe Master" This term has no negative connotation.
Quien mucho abarza poco aprieta "Who grabs too much, has a weak grasp" SpainColombiaUruguay: Aprendiz de mucho, maestro de nada "Apprentice of a lot, master of nothing" Spain: Maestro Liendre, que de todo sabe y de nada entiende. This has a clearly negative connotation. Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada.
A todo le tiras, y a nada le pegas "You aim for everything, but you hit nothing" Mexico: Chambitas "Little jobs" Mexico:jack-of-all-trades - Traduzione del vocabolo e dei suoi composti, e discussioni del forum.
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