a slight, incomplete, or superficial knowledge (of something or someone):
He had only a nodding acquaintance with Italian and didn’t trust it to get him through the tour. Although we were neighbors for several years, we had only a nodding acquaintance.
a person with whom one is only slightly acquainted:
I don’t really know what he’s like—he’s only a nodding acquaintance.
Superficial knowledge of someone or something, as in I have a nodding acquaintance with the company president, or She has a nodding acquaintance with that software program. This expression alludes to knowing someone just well enough to nod or bow upon meeting him or her. “Early 1800s]
- Nodding dog
noun 1. a small model of a dog carried as a mascot in a motor vehicle, with a head so mounted that it moves up and down with the motion of the vehicle
- Nodding donkey
noun 1. (informal) (in the oil industry) a type of reciprocating pump used to extract oil from an inland well
noun 1. a showy Chinese lilac, Syringa reflexa, of the olive family, having nodding clusters of pinkish flowers.
noun 1. a rare orchid, Triphora trianthophora, of the eastern U.S., bearing three pink flowers.