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Fount of knowledge or wisdom vs font of knowledge or wisdom

A fount of knowledge is a term used to describe something, but usually someone, who contains all the answers, something or someone that has a large aggregate of information.  A fount of wisdom is also a term used to describe something, but usually someone, who contains all the answers or has a large aggregate of information. While the phrases are interchangeable, fount of wisdom may also be used in a sarcastic manner. Fount is a shortened form of the word fountain, just as mount is a shortened form of the word mountain.

Font of knowledge and font of wisdom are mondegreens, which are phrases rendered by misinterpreting the proper terms. One meaning of font is a structure in a church that contains water for baptism ceremonies. Water in a baptismal font is still, The picture of a fountain with jets of water spurting in the air depicts the idea of abundance, fitting for the idea of someone or something with an abundance of knowledge or wisdom.


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Examples

In Tiro, Mashinini encountered a fount of knowledge about the Black Consciousness philosophy and the dream that one day South Africa would be free to be renamed Azania. (The INdependent)

He was an inexhaustible fount of knowledge (his “storehouse of useless information” never seemed to run low), but our love for him ran much deeper than merely admiring his skill as a historian. (The Waco Tribune)

They also imbibed a sense of patriotism and a veritable fount of knowledge from their parents, who had planted the seeds of their sons’ vast cultural baggage. (The Times of Malta)

His fount of wisdom can be summed up in the phrase: “Stay thirsty, my friends.” (The Washington Post)

Mr. Levinson is a fan of all three of these developments, and he sums up his book as a denial that “The Federalist” is a “fount of wisdom” or an “infallible guide.” (The Wall Street Journal)

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