know by name

know (someone or something) by name

To have heard someone's or something's name before without being acquainted with them or it. A: "Have you ever met Sarah's friend John?" B: "No, but I know him by name." Most people know the franchise by name, regardless of whether they've seen any of the films or not.
See also: by, know, name
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

know someone or something by name

to recognize the name but not the appearance of someone or something. I only know her by name. I have no idea what she looks like. I know this brand of sausage by name, but I have never tasted it.
See also: by, know, name
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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