Autodidact, Polyglot, and Polymath
I had seen these terms all referring to sort of the same thing, or being used in the same context: to mean someone who was very smart.
However, they have specific meanings
Autodidact: someone who is self-taught; also used to refer to someone who is able to absorb complicated subjects with no formal instruction; occasionally “automath”
Polyglot: someone who knows many languages (“glot” means “tongue”)
Polymath: someone who has very broad knowledge of many subjects
Some patterns there (which is probably why I confused them):
- auto: a Greek prefix for “independent” or “self”
- poly: a Greek prefix for “many”
- math: from the Greek “mathema” which means “what one learns”
Why I Looked It Up
I had seen (and confused) the terms for years.