I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe a person who does not know much about anything but the field they are majoring or have majored on. For example, a computer scientist who does not know anything in other fields and does not have any hobbies outside their job/field of study.

Also what is a word to describe a person that is the opposite? Meaning, they know something in other fields, read books about different things, have hobbies, etc.


1 Answer 1


Some less-formal terms are:

Note that neither are typically positive descriptions of a person, and the subject may take offense.

Jack-of-all-trades... can sometimes be followed up with ...master of none, which suggests that the person may not be particularly skilled at any of the different subjects they profess to understand. Sometimes, the first half of that statement is left hanging, and the listener is invited to infer the second half.

If you were looking for more neutral, formal terms, you might say someone is:

  • singularly-focused (i.e. they have one specific area of expertise)
  • a subject-matter expert (a more business-themed term for an authority of knowledge for a given field)

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