Get ready to discover all the things you need to know about the basic saying “Bon à tout bon à rien”.
To be more specific, this includes a complete explanation of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Together with the useful things we added like dialogue example, literal meaning, slow pronunciation audio and more!
This is a two part proverb: “Bon à tout” means “Good at everything” and “Bon à rien” means “Good at nothing“. Sounds like a paradox, right?
Well, yes, and that’s why it is so interesting.
In fact, the whole interest of this proverb comes from the human dilemma of choosing specialization vs. choosing diversification. We tend to think that with dedication it is possible to become very good at everything, but most of the time this is just an illusion.
If we want to achieve greatness and excellence, we have to restrict our focus on a very limited amount of activities/topics.
That’s why this proverb is such a powerful reminder, saying more or less: “If you think you are good at everything, then you are certainly not mastering any of those things. But that’s ok, nobody does.“
Then, you can keep these words of wisdom in mind as a reminder to not spread yourself too thin.
But you can also use it during a conversation, for example: with someone talking about running many projects simultaneously. Or with someone who brags about being a master in many things/everything.
In both cases, the answer is simple: “Bon à tout, bon à rien“. You can also add “Attention” before saying “Be careful“.
Generally, we use the masculine gender, which is also used when the gender is undefined. But if you are talking about a woman, the feminine gender would be: “Bonne à tout, bonne à rien“.