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See also: factótum



From New Latin factotum (literally do everything), from Latin fac, present singular imperative of faciō (do, make) + tōtum (everything); attested in English from 1566.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /fækˈtəʊ.təm/
  • (US) IPA(key): /fækˈtoʊ.təm/
  • (file)


factotum (plural factotums or (nonstandard) factota)

  1. (dated) A person having many diverse activities or responsibilities.
  2. (dated) A general servant.
    Synonym: do-all
    • 1847 March 30, Herman Melville, chapter 73, in Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas; [], London: John Murray, [], →OCLC:
      I had almost forgotten Monee, the grinning old man who prepared our meal. [] He was Po-Po’s factotum—cook, butler, and climber of the bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees; and, added to all else, a mighty favourite with his mistress; with whom he would sit smoking and gossiping by the hour.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 61, in The History of Pendennis. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      Susan Bonner’s mistress hearing of Strong’s arrival sent for him at this juncture, and the Chevalier went up to her ladyship not without hopes that he should find her more tractable than her factotum Mrs. Bonner.
  3. An individual employed to do all sorts of duties.
    • 2021 November 5, Jon Schwarz, The Intercept[1], First Look Media:
      Biden’s and Bush’s factotums had to walk their statements quickly back, emphasizing that U.S. policy had not changed.
  4. A jack of all trades.
    Synonyms: handyman, jack of all trades, sciolist
    • 2018 January 10, Ann Hornaday, “‘Phantom Thread’: In his final role, Daniel Day-Lewis reminds us he’s a monumental talent”, in Washington Post[2]:
      He lives with his devoted sister and factotum, Cyril (Lesley Manville), and a series of women who tend to be quietly eased out when they demand too much time and attention or — heaven forfend! — dare to speak during Woodcock’s monastic creative routine.
  5. (printing, historical) A large decorative printing block with a central space into which any letter can be inserted, used to mark the beginning of a chapter of a book in early printing.



Further reading[edit]


Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nl


Possibly directly or else via French from New Latin factotum (literally do everything), from Latin fac, present singular imperative of faciō (do, make) + tōtum (everything); attested in Dutch from 1605.


  • IPA(key): /fɑkˈtoː.tʏm/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: fac‧to‧tum


factotum m (plural factotums, diminutive factotumpje n)

  1. factotum (jack-of-all-trades)




Unadapted borrowing from New Latin factōtum.


  • IPA(key): /fakˈtɔ.tum/
  • Rhymes: -ɔtum
  • Hyphenation: fac‧tò‧tum


factotum m (invariable)

  1. an individual employed to do all sorts of duties
    Synonym: tuttofare
    • 1816, "Largo al Factotum", Il barbiere di Siviglia, Gioachino Rossini, libretto by Cesare Sterbini
      "Largo al factotum della città, largo!"
      "Make way for the factotum of the city!"



Borrowed from French factotum, from Latin factotum.


factotum m (plural factotum)

  1. factotum