Example sentence:

He registered in my mind. He was John Anderson.

(Meaning that I knew who the person was.)

Is this a common idiom? If not, what's the closest alternative?

  • 1
    As answers have already said, it's not an idiom. When you say "you know who the person is", what do you mean? Do you mean that you recognised him (remember seeing him before, and remembered his name), that you have heard of him (but not necessarily seen him, before), or that you have met him before?
    – SteveES
    Jun 27, 2017 at 11:43

3 Answers 3


Not an idiom per se. But use it; why not? Some of the definitions for register supports such usage.

Plus, I'd rephrase it to: "It registered in my mind; he was John Anderson."

Using "in my mind" is actually unnecessary if you are already using "registered", but it's fine to have some redundancy.

Register -- ODO

(verb) 3.2 usually with negative Notice or become aware of.
‘he hadn't even registered her presence’

3.3 no object, usually with negative Make an impression on a person's mind.
‘My mind registers that there's a guy pulling me down.’


This is not a common idiom. The more common form would be, "he came to mind."


I've never heard or read a phrase like the one you wrote. I'd rather say

He sticked in my memory


He got stuck in my mind

for a more negative nuance...

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