Humanities › English Prodigy and Protégé Commonly Confused Words Share Flipboard Email Print English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated April 04, 2017 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.