to pick someone's brain

Idiom Definition

"to pick someone's brain"

to question someone, who knows more than you do, to obtain specific information

Idiom Definition - to pick someone's brain


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to pick someone's brain

After three months on the job, Fred is still not completely capable with all his work tasks.  Fred goes to see his boss.

Fred:  "Hey Boss.  Can I trouble you for a moment, please?"

Boss:  "Sure, how can I help."

Fred:  "I'm not quite sure how to get that report you want to update correctly.  Can I pick your brain?"

Boss:  "Of course.  Ask whatever questions you need to."

Fred:  "Well, first, when I have the update screen open, do I ......

Fred continues to ask all the questions necessary to successfully produce the report.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to pick someone's brain

A young astrophysics student is dreaming of finding the next breakthrough in the field of cosmology. He is chatting with a friend.

Student:  "I think I am close to finding out what Einstein was missing."

Friend:  "Wow!  That's exciting!  What do you need to study?"

Student:  "That's the challenge.  I have read everything that Einstein ever wrote and I still don't have the information I need."

Friend:  "What are you going to do?"

Student:  "What I really need to do is to pick Einstein's brain.  I need specific information that only he could answer."

Friend:  "Well, seeing as how Einstein is dead, I suppose you will have to find another way.  Maybe you could pick someone else's brain?"

to pick someone's brain - Usage:


to pick someone's brain - Gerund Form:

Picking someone's brain can be a good way to obtain critical information.

to pick someone's brain - Examples:

1)  I pick my grandmother's brain when I need help with family genealogy.

2)  You pick your father's brain when you are trying to fix the car.

3)  He picks his wife's brain when he is learning to cook.

4)  She picks her friend's brain to discover all the best sales.

5)  We pick the coach's brain when we are working on new plays.

6)  You (all) pick the teacher's brain when you (all) want to find the correct answers.

7)  They pick their boss's brain to learn specific job information.

8)  I would have loved to pick his brain and learn more about this culinary icon.

9)  But if you do want to connect on LinkedIn to pick his brain you can reach him at...

10)  I just want to sit and have a tea and pick his brain until my body refuses to stay awake.

11)  I recently tracked down Mann, hoping to pick his brain on what it was like to become Tarantino's latest onscreen bad guy.

12)  Any time you can pick his brain is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

13)  You are definitely someone I respect... I am hoping to pick your brain.

14)  I wish I had the opportunity to pick your brain and find out how exactly you were able to build an online community so fast.

15)  I might be picking your brain more and more over the next few months.

16) I spent many hours with her picking her brain about design principles, colour, lamps etc. 

17)  I have been picking her brain for ideas for years.

18) He was just picking my brain about what songs were on it. I wish I could have picked her brain a bit more about my blog. 

19)  She was starting a career in sports journalism, and I regularly picked her brain.

20)  We picked her brain for tips and tricks.