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Nice phrases for work-field familiarity

Posted by Werner on December 12, 2003

I used the phrase "a pig knows the mud he rolls in" the other day, to mean that someone knows the familiar territory among his peers. My wife thought it was a crude phrase and later objected to it.

Are there phrases that mean the same thing, but are more genteel? What I wanted to convey is that a person who long works in a particular field knows his peers and their habits and intents, knows the work, knows the routines, understands the signals, etc.

Someone told me they had never heard my phrase about pigs, although they didn't understand my wife's distaste. Well, it was imply that pigs are gross and dirty in some people's minds and not to be spoken about among genteel urbanites.