So I want to write about a company that specializes in a particular field. They've been in this field since a while now, so they know everything there is to know about the field and related to it. but I am not sure if this sentence formation is correct.

XX have been here for a while now and so they know all the knicks and knacks of...

I have been searching Google but unable to find the use of the phrase 'knicks and knacks' anywhere. Does this phrase exists and am I using it correctly?

If not, can you help me out with another phrase? It shouldn't sound boring.

  • Thanks, everyone! I did believe that I was mixing two phrases up and I just couldn't find the right phrase for what I wanted to say! Your inputs really helped a ton! I think I'm going to go with 'ins and outs' :) – Hannah Jun 3 '15 at 4:28

As Davidw20 says, "ins and outs" works. If you mean that they know all the details, you can say "the nuts and bolts". Another common phrase would be to say "they know all there is to know about X". Or, "they know all the tricks of the trade".


I would say that they know all the "ins and outs" of whatever. Knick Knacks are bits and pieces of "stuff" found around my grandmother's house.

  • 2
    Also worth emphasizing is that the phrase "knicks and knacks" is essentially non-existent. As @Davidw20 implies, "knick knacks" is the appropriate term constructed from those words. – Trevor Brown Jun 2 '15 at 16:29

You might be confusing this with the phrase: every nook and cranny, meaning every part of a place.

eg This house is where I grew up. I know every nook and cranny of it.

But in the context you're talking about I would probably go with 'ins and outs', as others have already mentioned.


The other answers posted here are great, I'll also add "knowing it backward and forward" as another expression meaning comprehensive knowledge of a subject. You could also use "from top to bottom" or "inside out".

XX have been here for a while now and, so they know YY backward and forward.

XX have been here for a while now and, so they know YY from top to bottom.

XX have been here for a while now and, so they know YY inside out.


You may have made an iffy connection in your mind. I suspect that you started with the word "knack", meaning "ability", as in "He has the knack of coming up with the right question to clarify a misunderstanding." So your sentence may have started out along the lines of "XX have been here a while now, so they have the knack of fixing the problems."

However, this use of knack is limited to the singular form, and trying to combine it with "knicks" (remembered from the phrase knick-knacks), led you astray.

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