have a nodding acquaintance with somebody/something

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have a nodding acquaintance (with someone or something)

To have a slight or precursory knowledge of someone or something. Jim asked me to help fix his computer for him, but I'm afraid I only have a nodding acquaintance with how his machine works. Ruth and I had only a nodding acquaintance before going to the party, but once we got talking, it was like we'd been friends our whole lives.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have a nodding acˈquaintance with somebody/something

know somebody slightly/know a little about something: I have a nodding acquaintance with some members of the committee.You need at least a nodding acquaintance with the rules of chess to understand the book.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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At around eight I pass a couple of small lakes, one frosted over, the other curiously not, and that has hundreds of birds in residence - coots, ducks, geese and swans are just some of the birds I have a nodding acquaintance with.
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