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know a hawk from a handsaw

To be able to tell two things apart. The phrase comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Of course I know which twin is which, I know a hawk from a handsaw, after all!
See also: hawk, know

know chalk from cheese

To be able to tell two things apart (especially by recognizing their differences). Of course I know which twin is which, I know chalk from cheese, after all! Leah has a beauty mark under her left eye, and Deena doesn't.
See also: chalk, cheese, know

know for a fact

To have definitive knowledge of something. I know for a fact that he cheats in cards! I saw the ace up his sleeve. My mom says she knows for a fact that I'm getting the internship at her company, but I won't believe it until the recruiter calls me.
See also: fact, know

know (something) inside and out

To be well-versed in and/or very familiar with something. I'm ready for this exam—I know genetics inside and out! I think Mary will do great at the audition, now that she knows the dance inside and out. These cabbies know the city streets inside and out.
See also: and, inside, know, out

know (one's) beans

To be knowledgeable about and/or very familiar with something. I had no idea you were such a good piano player—you really know your beans!
See also: bean, know

know (someone)

To have a familiarity with someone; to know who someone is. Such familiarity can range from close friendship to having only met someone once. Oh yeah, I know Mr. Meyers, he used to be my neighbor. He knew Vanessa long before she became a famous singer.
See also: know

know what's o'clock

To be attentive and aware of all that is going on. Those students thought they could get away with cheating in my class, huh? Too bad I know what's o'clock!
See also: know

know which way the wind blows

To be able to anticipate how a certain course or situation is likely to develop. These politicians know which way the wind blows regarding public opinion on the issue, and you can bet they'll vote accordingly.
See also: blow, know, way, wind

know a thing or two

To be knowledgeable about something. Hey, I know a thing or two about art—I was an art history major in college, you know!
See also: know, thing, two

know (something) by heart

To have learned or memorized something completely. Ask Becky to recite the poem—she knows it by heart. I can't sing that song in front of an audience if I don't know the words by heart!
See also: heart, know

know (something) inside out

To know something thoroughly or down to the last detail. I've read this book so many times that I know it inside out. If you study this material for weeks, you'll know it inside out by the test date.
See also: inside, know, out

know better

To be aware or capable of better or smarter behavior than one has demonstrated. You know better than to talk to strangers! What were you thinking? You know better than to try to question that professor—he doesn't care what we have to say.
See also: better, know

know the score

To understand the reality of a particular situation, often when that information is displeasing Oh, I know the score—my older sisters are allowed to do things that I'm not.
See also: know, score

know a thing or two

(about someone or something) Go to a thing or two (about someone or something).
See also: know, thing, two

know better (than to do something)

to be wise enough, experienced enough, or well trained enough not to have done something wrong. Mary should have known better than to accept a lift from a stranger. Children should know better than to play in the road.
See also: better, know

know the score

 and know what's what
Fig. to know the facts; to know the facts about life and its difficulties. Bob is so naive. He sure doesn't know the score. I know what you're trying to do. Oh, yes, I know what's what.
See also: know, score

know better

Be able to recognize something as wrong or not possible, as in Mary should know better than to leave her child alone in the house, or Try to get in without a ticket? You know better than that. [c. 1700]
See also: better, know

know the score

Also, know what's what. Understand what is happening; be familiar with the real story or the full situation. For example, It will take the new legislators some time to know the score, or When it comes to teaching youngsters to read, Nell knows what's what. The first expression, dating from about 1930, alludes to score as a tally of points in a game. The variant dates from about 1400.
See also: know, score

know the score

COMMON If you know the score, you know and accept the real facts about a situation, even though you may not like them. I know the score — my career will last as long as my looks. Taylor isn't stupid — he knows the score. He has to produce results soon or he'll be out of a job.
See also: know, score

know a thing or two

be experienced or shrewd.
1993 Rolling Stone Andy Shernoff …knows a thing or two about great glam punk.
See also: know, thing, two

know the score

be aware of what is going on; be aware of the essential facts about a situation. informal
2002 New York Times Magazine Nowadays, everyone knows the score. Aside from discovering, say, that Tom Hanks is mean, what story of show business ugliness would scandalize us?
See also: know, score

there is no knowing

no one can tell.
See also: knowing, there

know ˈbetter (than that/than to do something)

be sensible enough not to do something: You left the car unlocked? I thought you’d know better.He knows better than to judge by appearances.
See also: better, know

know the ˈscore

(informal) know the true situation, especially if this is bad: Look, you know the score, we can’t afford a car right now.
See also: know, score

know a thing or two (about somebody/something)

(informal) know a lot about somebody/something from your own experience: After ten years as a teacher, I know a thing or two about how children learn.‘How much do you know about computers?’ ‘Oh, I know a thing or two.’
See also: know, thing, two

there’s no ˈknowing/ˈsaying/ˈtelling...

it is impossible to know/say/tell: There is no telling what he may do when he gets angry.There’s no saying what will happen.
See also: knowing, saying

know the score

tv. to know the way things work in the hard, cruel world. Don’t try to con me. I know the score.
See also: know, score
References in classic literature ?
He had seen you indeed, before he came to Bath, and admired you, but without knowing it to be you.
Natasha glanced at her ironically without knowing why.
But after knowing you even for this short time, I knew you were quite the opposite of that, and I remembered that the first thing you had done on coming into the money had been to offer me half, so the information that you were the Lord Dawlish whom I had been hating did not affect me.
Nutty invites you down here, knowing that you are Lord Dawlish.
The woman that was with me had told me that by a mere accident, knowing nothing of what importance it was to me.
husband), and to tell him who I was; but not knowing what temper I might find him in, or how much out of temper rather, I might make him by such a rash visit, I resolved to write a letter to him first, to let him know who I was, and that I was come not to give him any trouble upon the old relation, which I hoped was entirely forgot, but that I applied to him as a sister to a brother, desiring his assistance in the case of that provision which our mother, at her decease, had left for my support, and which I did not doubt but he would do me justice in, especially considering that I was come thus far to look after it.
But when I thought it over a little, I felt more hopeful for your knowing at once that I had only been watchful for you, and had only noticed what I think I have noticed, because I was quickened by your interest in it.
Knowing all this,--and still always going on with infinite endurance, pains, and perseverance, could his dark soul doubt whither he went?
It might be worth knowing what this strange man's business was with Lightwood, or Wrayburn, or both, at such an unseasonable hour.
It read something like this: "An architect is someone who starts out knowing nothing about everything and as time goes on learns less and less about more and more.
There's a lot more to drama studies, comedic timing and improvisation than just putting on blond hair and playing a ditz or knowing how to cry on cue.
That would make the office atmosphere better, the work would get done, the patients would get better care, and I think everyone would feel better about what was accomplished, knowing that we did it as a team.
Camp people find comfort in knowing that throughout the whole year, no matter what goes wrong, everything will be ok once you get to camp.
As the authors come to the knowing of self, other, task and situation from various frameworks, and cross boundaries of leadership knowledge, we hope the reader enjoys the essays on teaching leaders and leadership contained herein.
If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see, I have a chance to gain self-knowledge--and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.