know which end is up

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

know which end is up

  1. (idiomatic) To possess sound judgment or common sense; to have a clear understanding of a situation.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Usually used in negative constructions, such as:
2011, Richard North Patterson, Silent Witness, ISBN 9780312381646, p. 277 (Google preview):
“When someone doesn't know which end is up, who knows why they do things.”

See also[edit]