Catch Word #129 – She knows it like the back of her hand

Sometimes we know just a little bit about something, and other times we know something so well that we have it memorized. This episode is all about expressions we can use to talk about having a very deep knowledge of something. We also have a popular expression for when you’ve got something completely memorized. You may have to listen to this episode a few times before you know these expressions like the back of your hand!



Expressions included in the Learning Materials:knowledge

  • To know something like the back of your hand
  • A freckle
  • All that to say
  • To get spit out
  • A sense of direction
  • Stage fright
  • Break a leg
  • To know something inside out
  • A little birdie told me
  • Excel
  • To know something by heart
  • Hardcore
  • The tibia

Sample transcript:

Harp: Yes, so let’s get started.

Maura: Great. Today we’re going to look at expressions that are related to knowing something very well. So we use today’s expressions when we have a really good knowledge of something.

Harp: All right. The first expression is to know it like the back of your hand.

Maura: That’s right. To know something, or to know it, like the back of your hand. Now, have a look down at the back of your hand right now. Looks familiar? I’m sure that you know if very well. You probably see it every day. This expression is used to talk about something that you know very well, just as well as you know the back of your hand.

Harp: Yeah. When you know something very well, you can say that you know it like the back of your hand.

Maura: You know, Harp, I’m kind of a freckly person, and I even have little freckles on my hand. And you’d think that I wouldn’t really be able to notice if I got a new one, but I can. A few times in my life, I’ve looked down and I think, “Oh, I’ve never seen that little brown freckle before. I guess I got a new one!”

Harp: That’s interesting!

Maura: So, anyways, all that to say I know the back of my hands very well.

Harp: Yes. This expression, to know it like the back of your hand, it means that you know something very well, you’re very comfortable with it. You know it.

Maura: That’s right. Now we’re going to give you a couple of examples with this expression. Ready Harp?

Harp: Let’s do it.

Harp: Hey! Welcome to San Francisco!

Maura: Thanks. I’m so excited to be here. It’s my first time.

Harp: I’m really excited to show you the city, too. It’s a great city.

Maura: Aw yeah. Thank you so much for taking some time off work and showing me around.

Harp: Hey, no problem. I’ve been living here for a while so I’m happy to say I know this city like the back of my hand now.

Maura: Cool.

Maura: So in the example we just listened to, one person arrives in San Francisco and the other person is going to show her around. The person who lives in San Francisco knows the city like the back of her hand, which means that she knows it very well. She knows how to get around. She knows where to take people. She knows what sites to see. This person has a very deep knowledge of the city.

Harp: Yeah. It’s nice when you know a city like the back of our hand. You can take people to all the cool places where the tourists don’t go.

Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast