know the ropes, to

know the ropes

To know the details or knowhow about a specific situation, task, job, or role. There's a lot to take in, but you'll know the ropes soon enough. This class is intense! You're expected to know the ropes from day one.
See also: know, rope

know the ropes

Be informed about the details of a situation or task. For example, Don't worry about Sara's taking over that reporter's job-she already knows the ropes. This expression alludes to sailors learning the rigging so as to handle a sailing vessel's ropes. It was being used figuratively by the late 1800s. The same allusion is present in show someone the ropes, meaning "to familiarize someone with the details," as in Tom's very experienced-he'll show you the ropes.
See also: know, rope

know the ropes

be thoroughly acquainted with the way in which something is done. informal
In its literal sense, this expression goes back to the days of sailing ships, when skill in handling ropes was essential for any sailor. The idiom is found in various forms, from the mid 19th century onwards, e.g. learn or understand the ropes and show or teach someone the ropes
See also: know, rope

know the ropes, to

To be well informed about the details of an operation, situation, or task. The term comes from the days of sailing ships, when sailors had to learn the details of the rigging in order to handle a ship’s ropes. It appeared in print in Richard Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast (1840) but was transferred to non-nautical matters by the late nineteenth century. Shaw used it and included a definition: “He knows the ropes: he knows his way about” (Fanny’s First Play, Introduction, 1911).
See also: know