Prodigy and Protégé

Commonly Confused Words

The noun prodigy refers to a highly talented young person or to a wondrous event.

The noun protégé refers to someone whose training or career is advanced by an influential person.

Examples

  • "Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders." (Erasmus)​
  • Abraham Lincoln was a protégé of Henry Clay, the Kentuckian who had orchestrated the great Missouri Compromise of 1820-21.

Practice

(a) Stephen Sondheim, a _____ of Oscar Hammerstein II, composed the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.


(b) Gary Burton, the one-time teenage _____, is still an astonishing master of the vibes after 40 years.

Answers

(a) Stephen Sondheim, a protégé of Oscar Hammerstein II, composed the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.
(b) Gary Burton, the one-time teenage prodigy, is still an astonishing master of the vibes after 40 years.