- a person who can do many kinds of work acceptably
- a handyman
(plural jacks of all trades)
1610s, from sense Jack (“man (generic term)”). Originally a term of praise (competent in many endeavors), today generally used disparagingly, with emphasis on (implied or stated) “master of none”, as in later longer form jack of all trades, master of none.
First attested in Essayes and characters of a prison and prisoners, by Geffray Minshull, published 1618 (written 1612), p. 50, as Jack-of-all-trades.