In The Know: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 18, 2023

"In The Know" is a widely used idiom that refers to being aware of important, current, or relevant information. It symbolizes the possession of insider knowledge or understanding about a particular situation, event, or topic. This idiom is frequently used in formal and casual conversations and is universally understood worldwide.

In short:

Being "In The Know" means possessing knowledge or understanding about a specific matter.

What Does "In The Know" Mean?

Being "In The Know" is more than simply knowing something; it involves having access to specialized or privileged information. This idiom implies a level of exclusivity, often suggesting that the informed person is part of an inner circle or has been entrusted with confidential details. Before we delve into more details, let's list a few essential aspects of this idiom:

  • It denotes possession of privileged, exclusive, or insider information.
  • The idiom can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
  • Being 'In The Know' often implies a certain level of responsibility and trustworthiness.

This idiom is quite versatile and can be used with slight variations. For instance, one might say, "She's in the know about the company's financial situation," or "He's in the know about the city's best eateries."

Where Does "In The Know" Come From?

The phrase "In The Know" is believed to have originated in the English language during the 19th century. The idiom, often used in politics or business, referred to those who had inside information or were familiar with the inner workings of a system or organization. The specific origins of this phrase are unclear, largely due to its commonplace usage in various settings.

Historical Usage

"In politics, it's important to be 'in the know' to make informed decisions."

- Samuel Wellwood, 1842

10 Examples of "In The Know" in Sentences

Here are ten examples that illustrate how this idiom can be used in various contexts:

  • As an investigative journalist, Laura must always be In The Know about recent developments.
  • Sarah, who is always in the know about the latest fashion trends, invited her friend Lisa to hop in and join her for a shopping spree in the city.
  • He was not In The Know about the surprise party we planned for him.
  • Thank you so much for sharing that complete information with me about the upcoming concert; now I feel true In The KnowYou've made my day!
  • Stay In The Know about our upcoming sales by signing up for our newsletter.
  • Sorry, I can't reveal the details of the project just yet. Only those In The Know will be informed of Anytime Soon.
  • Not being In The Know about the rule changes, he failed the driving test.
  • She's always In The Know when it comes to celebrity gossip.
  • John always seems to be in the know about the latest trends and happenings; he can spot a jive turkey from a mile away.
  • Being In The Know about local events, he writes for the town's newspaper.

Examples of "In The Know" in Pop Culture

Let's consider eight instances of this idiom appearing in popular culture:

  • The movie title "The Insider" symbolizes being In The Know.
  • In the TV series "Gossip Girl," the character Blair Waldorf is always In The Know about Upper East Side gossip.
  • The song "Secrets" by OneRepublic contains a line that implies being In The Know about confidential matters.
  • The reality TV show "Big Brother" uses the slogan "Always watching, always In The Know."
  • The character Dr. House from the TV series "House M.D." is often In The Know about rare medical conditions.
  • Like CNN's "The Situation Room," news and current affairs show aim to keep viewers In The Know.
  • In "The Godfather," the Corleone family is always In The Know about mob activity.
  • The celebrity magazine "Us Weekly" promises to keep readers In The Know about Hollywood.

Other Ways to Say "In The Know"

Several alternative expressions convey a similar meaning to "In The Know."

Some of these include:

  • He is aware of the recent developments.
  • She is up to date with the latest trends.
  • They are informed about the company's plans.
  • As an insider, he has knowledge of the situation.
  • Being a connoisseur, she is acquainted with the fine wines.
  • He's apprised of the circumstances.
  • They are privy to the information.
  • She's versed in the field of quantum physics.
  • Being a nerd, he's familiar with all comic books.
  • He's enlightened about the company's future projects.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "In The Know"

  • What is the origin of "In The Know"?

It seems to have emerged during the early to mid-19th century, primarily in the context of politics or business. The exact origin is unclear.

  • Can "In The Know" be used in formal writing?

Yes, it is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.

  • Is it a positive or negative idiom?

Generally, it has a neutral connotation. It simply means to have knowledge about something. The context will determine whether it's positive or negative.

  • Is there an antonym for "In The Know"?

Yes, "out of the loop" can be considered as an antonym.

  • Can "In The Know" refer to knowing people as well as information?

Typically, it refers to having information or understanding, rather than knowing people.

  • Can it be used sarcastically?

Yes, like many idioms, it can be used sarcastically, depending on the context and tone.

  • What are some synonyms of "In The Know"?

Some synonyms include: informed, aware, apprised, privy, versed, acquainted, and enlightened.

  • Can this idiom be used in negative sentences?

Yes, it can be used in negative sentences. For instance, "He was not 'In The Know' about the surprise party we planned for him."

  • Does this idiom imply a level of responsibility?

Yes, having privileged information often implies a certain level of responsibility and trustworthiness.

  • Is the idiom "In The Know" commonly used in English?

Yes, it is a common idiom used across the English-speaking world.

Final Thoughts About "In The Know"

Understanding idioms such as "In The Know" enriches our language skills and helps us better grasp the nuances of English. To summarize:

  • The idiom refers to having privileged, insider, or special information.
  • It can be used in various contexts, from casual conversations to formal writing.
  • It is a commonly used phrase in the English language with origins dating back to the 19th century.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy