Do we have both the usages of inside-out and outside-in?

inside-out means: with the inner surface turned outward.

So basically they are the opposite meaning? Perform inside-out and then perform outside-in on an item A, then I suppose geometrically that we can turn A back to A itself?

And can we call this process of inside-out and outside-in as the $2\pi$=360 degree self-flipping?


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    You did know you should invert subject and predicate in questions? – tchrist Apr 27 '14 at 19:14
  • Outside in is not a common expression. It has been used sometimes paired with inside out, but I doubt that I have ever heard it on its own. – Colin Fine Apr 27 '14 at 20:34

Inside out and outside in are not opposites. They mean the same thing, at the same time.

Imagine a garment of fleece, such as a sweatshirt. The inside is fleecy, the outside is smooth. Turn it inside out. The fleecy side is outside now. Where is the smooth side? The smooth side is in; the shirt is outside in.

To say that something is inside out and outside in is a redundancy, the purpose of which is to reinforce or intensify. It's as if you were saying something was thoroughly inside out.

If you want a sequential use, it's more common to say inside out and back again.

You can posit that once a shirt is inside out, the inside becomes the new outside and vs. versa, but an inside out garment will really always be inside out.

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  • Hope you're keeping well. When you decide that ELU is relaxation rather than a chore (if), could you kindly add a reference (eg Collins) justifying the statement/s in the first two sentences? Hope you keep well:) – Edwin Ashworth Apr 16 at 15:32

You understand the meaning of inside out (without the hyphen). Say we have a pair of pants. They can either be inside out to fix the pickets or right-side out to wear them.

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