Going along with my suggested implementation for Generalist, since the specialist badges have a gold level, I propose that the Generalist badge should too, called Polymath and, under an awarding mechanism like the one I describe in that other suggestion, requiring 5x the threshold of score that Generalist does. (So if Generalist were implemented with the 500 point threshold I just threw out there, Polymath would have a 2500 point threshold.)

The way Generalist wound up implemented, the wording for Polymath would be: "Provided non-wiki answers of 75 total score in 20 of top 40 tags".

  • Polyglot would probably be a more accurate name. Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:11
  • 2
    Ooh, that'd be a good one if we could specifically identify language tags.
    – chaos
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:11
  • 15
    Bill: Polyglot means multiple languages, but polymath means expertise in different subject areas. I would say polymath is the more accurate form, but polyglot is the more known word.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:12
  • 5
    Yes, on second thought (since we can't target languages only) polymath probably would be better. Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:12
  • 2
    polymath is for polynerds :P
    – Kip
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:16
  • A female with no food = Polly No Meal
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 13:19
  • Polly wants a cracker; maybe she would like more food...
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 16:07
  • 1
    Y'all crazy as hell, yo.
    – chaos
    Commented Aug 5, 2009 at 17:42
  • 2
    Clearly, we should avoid polymath and go with polyhistor, to avoid bias towards the more math-oriented SO users.
    – Pops
    Commented May 23, 2010 at 16:39

5 Answers 5


Since generalist badge is already implemented, let me suggest for gold version.

Current Generalist badge is -

Provided non-wiki answers of 15 total score in 20 of top 40 tags

More strict one should be added for Gold for example -

Provided non-wiki answers of 75 total score in 50 of top 100 tags

Note: values could/should be tweak a bit more.

I am not sure PolyMath is good name or not, I was tried to post new question, but I found this question, so just posting as answer

  • 17
    It's possible to get Polymath before Generalist with this setting.
    – kennytm
    Commented May 23, 2010 at 17:22
  • 11
    @KennyTM - Possible, but very odd. It's also possible to get Great Answer before getting Good Answer, depending on how fast the voting went, and when the badge task runs. I don't think it makes this option less valid. In the olympics you aren't expected to get a bronze and silver before you're allowed to get gold.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented May 25, 2010 at 14:06
  • 3
    Incidentally... There are 6 people who meet this criteria right now on SO. It is considerably harder to have significant activity in 50 tags than it is in 20.
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 19:36

I like the idea, but would suggest increasing the number of tags instead of the depth of score in those tags. Otherwise a Polymath is not anymore general than a Generalist. Example:

Generalist requirement:

Provided non-wiki answers of 15 total score in 20 of top 40 tags

Polymath requirement:

Provided non-wiki answers of 15 total score in 35 of top 40 tags

Also, another option for the name of the badge might be: Sage.

  • It would be interesting to see the distribution of how many people meet the criteria as the "35 of" and "top 40" change.
    – moinudin
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 13:11
  • 3
    @marcog, 30 out of 40 might be better, I agree that looking at the distribution would help determine where to draw the line.
    – jzd
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 14:37
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    "35 of top 40" is nearly an omnimath (e.g. one who knows everything important). Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 1:48
  • @PaŭloEbermann This should be pantomath, not omnimath.
    – Phira
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 11:16

Assuming the Generalist badge ever gets implemented, I wouldn't mind seeing something like this.


I had the idea for a "polymath" badge today and was happy to see that it had already been suggested, but I think that our ideas are slightly different (correct me if I'm wrong please). Suppose that polymath was an inter-site level badge - do those exist? Basically, some way of pointing out that a particular user is significantly active not only on a selection of several tags on one StackExchange site, but that the user is significantly active over a spectrum of sites.

  • 2
    I believe that cross-site badges have been discussed before, though I think it's a cool in principle / challenging from the server backend idea. What good behavior does it promote? Visiting / Contributing to multiple stack exchange websites (which I think is a very good thing).
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 17:24

The Polymath badge should reflect both greater depth and breadth of knowledge. I propose a compromise between @YOU and @jzd's solutions.

  • Required per-tag score of 20 - 25, reflecting deeper knowledge than a Generalist, but not necessarily expertise.
  • Prioritize the total number of different tags, retaining the Generalist requirement of 20 of the top 40 (addressing the potential problem raised by @kennytm in which one earns the Polymath badge before earning the Generalist). I propose 50 total tags.

Version 1

Provided non-wiki answers of 20 total score in 50 different tags, including 20 of the top 40.

Version 2

Provided non-wiki answers of 25 total score in 50 different tags and meets requirements for the Generalist badge.

NOTE: The wording of in both versions perhaps runs into the problem of the top 40 tags changing after having earned the Generalist badge. That is, one no longer meets the requirements of that badge. To avoid that, the Polymath requirement could be ...and has earned the Generalist badge.

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