know one's ass from a hole in the ground

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

know one's ass from a hole in the ground

  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) To have an adequate level of knowledge or skill; to understand what one is doing or talking about.
    • 2004, David Drake, The Reaches, →ISBN, (Google preview):
      "Why are you so sure and they aren't?" the landsman said. . . .
      "Because Mr. Ricimer knows his ass from a hole in the ground, sir."
    • 2005 June 12, Gary M. Pomerantz, "First Chapter: Wilt, 1962," New York Times (retrieved 26 July 2014):
      Foxx gave a comic's pause. "Just goes to show you, don't it? Some folks don't know their ass from a hole in the ground."
    • 2006 Dec. 5, David Kiley, "Chrysler "Whoops" Ads Part of Important New Genre," Bloomberg (retrieved 23 Sep 2016):
      In the unofficial ad, the facilitator says about the man whose wife will be replaced, “This guy wouldn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.”

Usage notes[edit]

  • Almost always used in negative constructions to describe someone's ignorance or stupidity, such as: He doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]