Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to onion: tor
a lonely little petunia in an onion patch
One who is out of place among those one finds unpleasant, uncouth, or overly aggressive. Taken from a 1946 song of the same name by Johnny Kimano, Billy Faber, and Maurie Hartmann. I'm feeling really uncomfortable in this rowdy sports bar, like a lonely little petunia in an onion patch.
know (one's) onions
To be very knowledgeable or skilled in some area. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I think Nicole is our best candidate for the job—she really knows her onions about corporate accounting.
know one's stuffand know one's onions
to know what one is expected to know. I know my stuff. I can do my job. She can't handle the assignment. She doesn't know her onions.
know one's stuff
Also, know one's onions. Be experienced or knowledgeable in one's field or in the matter at hand. For example, Patrice knows her stuff when it comes to Mexican history, or We need a handyman who knows his onions. The allusion in the variant is unclear. [First half of 1900s]
know your onionsBRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you know your onions, you know a lot about a particular subject. She really knows her onions in the historical field. Note: This may derive from the rhyming slang `onion rings', meaning `things'.
know your onionsbe fully knowledgeable about something. informal
Onions is perhaps short for rhyming slang onion rings , meaning ‘things’. The phrase dates from the 1920s.