As we all know, acquaintances are the people whom we know but do not know well and therefore they are not considered as a friend.

We have a term which can encompass all the people we know, including: all the familiar people including friends, and people that comparing your close ones, you know them less.

As I know, "acquaintace" cannot be used in this sense, because it cannot encapsulate close people to you.

I wonder if there is a term/word/expression which can indicate such a meaning in current English.

  • "All the people I know" is probably the most common way to say this. Did you specifically want an idiom, or just the most idiomatic way to say it?
    – Andrew
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 15:37
  • Interesting @Andrew; come to think of it, I guess knowing both would be better. :)
    – A-friend
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


I think a good expression for this is circle, as in, "the people in my circle" or just "my circle". (See definition 6 in Merriam-Webster). Orbit can be used in a similar way. It's like you are the sun in the "solar system" of people you know. You could also use network but that has a connotation of people who work with you or in your field. That word is better for business as opposed to personal relationships.

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    You can specify this as well: My circle of friends, My circle of acquaintances, My circle of business contacts, and so on. You can also specify the people in your social circle, although this may be limited to people you consider "peers".
    – Andrew
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 15:40
  • Thank you @Andrew . I guess in spite of what dictionaries have mentioned, the word "acquantances" can cover a larger area of familiar people. I need you to let me know who can fall in this group? I.e. my relatives, my friends or people I somehow know and I'm familiar with them, can be counted as "my circle of acquaintances"?
    – A-friend
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 17:27
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    @A-friend "acquaintances" means "people you know" -- however, it usually includes the nuance "but who you would not call friends".
    – Andrew
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 19:58
  • So @Andrew the word acquaintance would work for me! This is what I needed. Therefore all my relatives and people I knoe excepting close friends would be "my acquaintances" while dictionaries do not give me such information. Thank you very much for that Andrew. ;)
    – A-friend
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 20:07
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    @A-friend I don't think family count as "acquaintances" either, even if they are distant family. It's more like people you come into contact with on a regular basis but who aren't related to you, and who you don't really consider to be close. For example, most of my neighbors are acquaintances, but not friends.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 20:30

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