Connaître comme sa poche

Now you must be an expert of French expressions, aren’t you? We think you know the expressions “comme ta poche”. Keep on reading this article from “Expressions bien de chez nous” and let us know if we were right.

The meaning of this turn of phrase

Let’s start by breaking down the phrase. The verb “connâitre” (to know) comes first, then we have the indefinite pronouns “quelque chose” that designates “something” or “quelqu’un” for “someone”. Finally we have “comme” (like) and the word that makes this a turn of phrase, “poche” (pocket).

Look at these examples: 

  • Il veut retourner au pays qu’il connaît comme sa poche.
  • Après 11 ans passés à l’Opéra de Paris, je connais comme ma poche tous les recoins du plateau.

Do you have a clue for what it means? Well, no more mystery for the day. This turn of phrase means to have a perfect knowledge of something, to know something by heart, from the top to the bottom. In this way,  when you know a lot about a subject, when you know every single detail, you can use this phrase, because you know it “like your pocket”.

The origins of this phrase

Is there something we know better than our pockets? We take them with us everywhere and we slide secrets on them! There is not a historical explanation except for the fact that pockets have existed since almost forever and they’re with us everywhere we go. However, if we want to be a little bit more precise, this saying originated in the XVIII century and it means, indeed, knowing something, or someone very well.

How to use it in context

Imagine you are an architect and unfortunately, one of the buildings you designed is endangered by an earthquake. The firefighters need to enter the building in order to rescue some people who are trapped in there, but all the main entrances are blocked. They hope there is a hidden entrance and they call you. On the phone, you say “I’ll be there, I know this building very well” or in French “J’arrive, je connais ce bâtiment comme ma poche”.

We hope you enjoyed learning with us. Don’t forget to share a similar expression in your language(s)! See you in the next one!

We have set up some quizzes so that you can better understand this expression. Just click below to access these quizzes.

Connaître comme sa poche

Connaître comme sa poche

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