All Slavic languages: to know somebody inside out

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Encolpius, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hello, what idiom do you have for the fact if you know someone very well?

    Czech: znát někoho jako své (staré) boty = [to know someone like your old shoes]
  2. marco_2 Senior Member

    Hello there,

    In Polish we say znamy się jak łyse konie (we know each other like bald horses). We also say about some place, but not people znam (e.g. to miasto) jak własną kieszeń (I know this city like my own pocket). And we can also say, but in a negative meaning Znam cię jak zły szeląg (or: zły grosz) - szeląg and grosz are / were our currency units - this idiom means that we know someone from his bad side.
  3. lavverats Member

    Sofia, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian: Познавам те като дланта на ръката ми/Poznavam te kato dlanta na rakata mi. Literally: I know you like the palm of my hand.
  4. ahvalj

    ahvalj Senior Member

    «знать как облупленного» (with a negative connotation) — literally something like "to know [somebody] like a peeled [egg]".
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  5. Azori

    Azori Senior Member


    poznať niečo/niekoho ako vlastnú/svoju dlaň = lit. to know something/somebody like one's own palm

    poznať niečo/niekoho ako vlastné/svoje topánky = lit. to know something/somebody like one's own shoes

    poznať niečo/niekoho ako starý peniaz = lit. to know something/somebody like an old coin

    vidieť niekomu do kešene = lit. to see into (somebody's) pocket (= to know everything about somebody)

    vidieť niekomu do karát = lit. to see into (somebody's) cards (= to know somebody's intentions)

    vidieť niekomu (až) do duše / žalúdka = lit. to see into (somebody's) soul / stomach (= to know somebody well)
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Because no Slovenian speakers have responded yet, I'll quote the Slovene dictionary I've been using:

    - poznati koga kot svoj žep
    - poznati koga do obisti

    The first one literally means "to know someone like one's own pocket"; I'm not sure about the literal meaning of the second.
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Serbo-Croatian (BCS) has an equivalent saying, Znati kao svoj džep, but I would say that it applies to situations (or locations) rather than persons. I have a hunch it's the same in Slovene.

    As for persons, there is znati kao staru paru in BCS, but it is not very well known.
  8. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    In BCS there's a humorous expression: Znam te puško kad si pištolj bila! It means that you know someone very well and therefore he can't fool you.
  9. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    "obist" is an old term for a kidney. So: "to know someone up to his kidneys".
    And "poznati koga kot svoj žep" is used also for persons.
  10. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    This also exists in Slovenian: poznati [koga] kot star denar. It's very familiar to me, but its use may be regional, because it returns only a few results on Google.
  11. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Actually in Slovenian is "poznati [koga] kot slab denar", but it is a bit negative connotation.
  12. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I'm not familiar with this one at all. My family only used the variation kot star denar, but as I said, its use may be regional.
  13. tekton61 New Member

    Russian, Ukrainian
    In Ukrainian about place
    Я знаю це місце, як своїх п'ять пальців.
    And about person
    Я його знаю, як облупленого.
  14. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska

    I'm adding more possibilities in colloquial Polish.

    We also say 'znać kogoś na wylot'. It means exactly what the English title phrase says.

    'znać kogoś jak własną kieszeń' is used as well.

    Another possibility: znać kogoś jak swoje pięć palców -- know someone like your five fingers (though this one is infrequent to my experience; I only saw it in dictionaries).

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