English edit

Etymology edit

First attested as a filled pause in the early 18th century, as a euphemism in the mid-19th century.[1]

Pronunciation edit

Interjection edit

you know

  1. (informal) Expression signifying a pause or hesitation.
    • 2002 December 15, “Interview with David Beckham”, in Breakfast with Frost[1], spoken by David Beckham, via BBC:
      I don’t usually get nervous in games and, you know, taking free kicks and penalties but that’s the first time I’ve been that nervous in, in a game, where I have to, I’m in a situation where I’m, you know []
    • 2013, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight (motion picture), spoken by Jesse (Ethan Hawke):
      Once, I remember, I was watching the twins on a trampoline, you know, and they looked so beautiful, and I was happy because they were happy, you know.
  2. (informal) Expression used to imply meaning, rather than say it, such as when a person is embarrassed.
    A: I heard you want to... do something with me.
    B: Do what?
    A: You know... umm...
    B: Sex?
    A: Yeah.
  3. (informal) Used as a rhetorical question to confirm agreement, knowing or understanding at the end of a statement.
    But I guess that's life, you know?
    I just wasn't into it, you know?
  4. (informal) Used to introduce information.
    You know, he's actually pretty nice.
  5. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see you,‎ know.

Alternative forms edit

Synonyms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “know (v.)”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading edit