The back of your hand

“To know something like the back of your hand”

I can understand what this phrase means.
But which is literally the back side of your hand, the palm or the other side?

The backside is the opposite to the palm, because if you think about it, that is the side you are mostly looking at when you do things with your hands. Not many people spend a great deal of time staring at their palms.

When you “back hand” something in tennis, for example, it is the back of your hand which is facing the ball when the racquet hits it.

Thank you for your explanation.
I thought that the palm was the inside of your hand and the other side was the “outside” or “surface” of your hand. I suppose that your “back” yard is inside of your estate.

Unless one is rich, we don’t normally live on ‘estates’, but rather, on our property (normally the house and land). My backyard is the garden/yard area behind my house/outside my back door, which of course is part of our (owned, mortgaged or rented) property. (Notwithstanding that property is ‘real estate’, and also that deceased persons’ property & assets become ‘estates’ - go figure :slight_smile:

But the back of the hand is definitely the outer surface of your hand.
If someone hit you with a ‘backhand’, they’ve hit you with the back of your hand, not the palm.

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Yes, the back of the hand is the palm.
But this set expression means: to know something very well.

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Sorry Evgueny, in English thought the back of the hand is not the palm.

Yes, that’s the opposite of the palm, a back site, thank you.
But I would like to say that it is not so important in this expresxsion - the meaning of one word, the whole meaning ‘to know something very well’ is much more important here like in all idioms.
You can know very well every word, but you can’t maybe understand the figurative meaning of the whole expression…

Yes, you’re absolutely right. That’s like our Australian (& British & Irish) expression, “I don’t know him from a bar of soap” - it’s more important to know it means ‘I don’t know him at all/ I’ve never met him/never heard of him’ etc, rather than trying to work out what soap has to do with anything :slight_smile:

What do you call the whole area where a house or a building is built? Property or land? In Japanese there is a word that denotes an area of this kind, that is, “敷地”.

I thought you lived on an estate. Thank you for your detailed explanation.

If you were a palmist, you would have to know quite exactly which side is the back of your hand. You should also know palmistry like the back of your hand.

In Oz it can be both property or land, but if someone said they owned some land, I’d tend to think of it as a vacant block of land, but not strictly so. My parents live on a “property” in the country. Alternatively, one could say they have “a house and land” (set expression), usually meaning the house and the land it’s built on.

The “property” could be a simple residential house and land, or a large piece of land with or without a house.

If one owned 5 houses, or even 5 vacant blocks of land, one would own 5 properties.

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Just to be clear the palm is the part with the lines on. If you make a fist your fingers fold into your palm. In the above images you should not see the palm of the first man at all, nor on the racket hand of the tennis player…

Your back yard/garden is the outside space at the rear of your house, the front yard/garden, if you have one, is the outside space before you reach your front door.

Front yard (in this picture you see the front door with a path leading up to it)

Back yard (in this picture you see the back of the house with large glass doors)

They are both inside the boundaries of your property. As Julz says we do not say estate unless you own many acres of land like the queen of England.

A little point of interest: In German it’s “Handrücken”, there you also find the back in Rücken.

Just to confuse things further, in the UK lots of people live on estates (even if they don’t own their property). Go figure ! :slight_smile:

Housing estate

In urbanized areas in Japan, some people want to live in high-rise condominiums, some of which are called “tower mansions”. The upper stories are more popular and more expensive. Personally, I do not agree with this preference. What are they going to do if they should experience an accident such as a power failure?

I must confess I’ve been wary of high-rise towers since I saw the movie “Towering Inferno” back in the 70s! LOL

Some people are “brave” enough to live in high-rise towers.

Thank you for your information. I googled the word and found the following entry.