know what's what


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.know what's what - be well-informed
know - know how to do or perform something; "She knows how to knit"; "Does your husband know how to cook?"
Translations

what

(wot) pronoun, adjective
1. used in questions etc when asking someone to point out, state etc one or more persons, things etc. What street is this?; What's your name/address / telephone number?; What time is it?; What (kind of) bird is that?; What is he reading?; What did you say?; What is this cake made of?; `What do you want to be when you grow up?' `A doctor.'; Tell me what you mean; I asked him what clothes I should wear.
2. (also adverb) used in exclamations of surprise, anger etc. What clothes she wears!; What a fool he is!; What naughty children they are!; What a silly book this is!
relative pronoun
1. the thing(s) that. Did you find what you wanted?; These tools are just what I need for this job; What that child needs is a good spanking!
2. (also relative adjective) any (things or amount) that; whatever. I'll lend you what clothes you need; Please lend me what you can.
whatˈever relative adjective, relative pronoun
any (thing(s) or amount) that. I'll lend you whatever (books) you need.
adjective, pronoun
no matter what. You have to go on, whatever (trouble) you meet; Whatever (else) you do, don't say that!
adjective
whatsoever; at all. I had nothing whatever to do with that.
pronoun
(also what ever) used in questions or exclamations to express surprise etc. Whatever will he say when he hears this?
ˈwhatnot noun
such things. He told me all about publishing and whatnot.
ˈwhat's-his/-her/-its etc -name noun
used in referring vaguely to a person or thing. Where does what's-his-name live?
ˌwhatsoˈever (-sou-) adjective
at all. That's nothing whatsoever to do with me.
know what's what
to be able to tell what is important.
what about?
1. used in asking whether the listener would like (to do) something. What about a glass of milk?; What about going to the cinema?
2. used in asking for news or advice. What about your new book?; What about the other problem?
what … for
1. why(?). What did he do that for?
2. for what purpose(?). What is this switch for?
what have you
and similar things; and so on. clothes, books and what have you.
what if?
what will or would happen if ...?. What if he comes back?
what … like?
used when asking for information about someone or something. `What does it look like?' `It's small and square.'; `What's her mother like?' `Oh, she's quite nice.'; We may go – it depends (on) what the weather's like.
what of it?
used in replying, to suggest that what has been done, said etc is not important. `You've offended him.' `What of it?'
what with
because of. What with taking no exercise and being too fat, he had a heart attack.