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 to imply that a person may not be quite as wise as they think they are.

When writing, font is going to be more proper for American English usage, while fount is more popular with British English authors. Since both are derived from the word fountain and mean essentially the same, you won’t be criticized if you prefer one over the other. 

Origins

You may also have heard fount, which first came into use in the 1500’s, used interchangeably with the older term font. Both fount and font derive from fons, the Latin word for fountain.

Therefore you are technically saying fountain of knowledge, or fountain of wisdom when you use either term. 

It’s important to note that font of knowledge and font of wisdom are possible mondegreens, which are phrases rendered by misinterpreting (or changing) the original terms. In this case, the word font is used to describe a source of something.

As mentioned, font is actually an earlier form of use than fount, and came into use before the 12th Century to describe the baptismal basin into which water was poured.

In essence, this was the fountain, or source of the holy water during the sacrament of baptism. Using this definition, you are explaining a source of knowledge, or source of wisdom.

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)