not know (any) better

(redirected from didn't know any better)

not know (any) better

1. To not have the knowledge or development to behave correctly or make an informed decision. Don't get so mad at him for writing on the walls—he's two, he doesn't know any better.
2. To not have (contradictory) information about something. Used in the construction "if I didn't know (any) better" to sarcastically or ironically suggest that something is probably or obviously the case. If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to believe that these megacorporations don't actually care two figs about consumers. Say, if I didn't know any better, I'd think you were actually enjoying yourself, just like I said you would!
See also: better, know, not
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not know any ˈbetter

not behave well, politely, etc. because you have never learned how to: You can’t blame him for his bad table manners; he doesn’t know any better.
See also: any, better, know, not
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
Sixteen years being bullied by nurses and schoolmasters at their own sweet will; five in London grinding hard at medicine, bad food, shabby lodgings, shabby clothes, shabby vice, a blunder,-- I didn't know any better,--and hustled off to this beastly island.
"I--I didn't know any better," said James, looking down.
My grandsons assured me they usually sat on the front row and I didn't know any better. Just before the Despicable Me movie started, a family took the seats next to us and unpacked an entire picnic on the floor in front of them from several shopping bags.
Mr Smith said he has never seen a sheep stuck on a rock before, and thinks the beast may have been a lamb who didn't know any better.
I was already 15, yet I didn't know any better. I based my judgments on how other people saw the world.
New album tracks don't normally get the biggest of responses, but if you didn't know any better, you'd have thought they were old anthems.
"I didn't know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really.
Dave suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn't know any better," said Bancroft, whose ban runs out this coming weekend.
Then, I didn't know any better. When I started watching the videos, I was stunned!" class="MsoNormalThis marked the beginning of a whole new experience and for the next three months, she saved up to buy original make-up products.
So, I didn't know any better. My instinct was, because I was grounded in the sciences, I just said, I will probably ask a neuroscientist and a cognitive scientist who will tell me the latest so far about how humans learn and that's one of the advantages we had even with being kulelat or being at the tail-end of all the science museums in the world.
If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought this was a low-budget horror movie from the 1980s from Ramsays' house of horrors, with far better performances of course and production values that constantly mock at the lowbrow content.
If any men have, it is because they think children, particularly girls, have no business learning to read and write, because that will cause them to think, and ask questions, and stand up for the injustices they have been enduring all these generations because they didn't know any better. The wheels within wheels are the men who are terrified of a girl with a book, whose worst nightmare is a girl like Malala: a girl who spoke up and didn't back down.
In a statement, she wrote: "I was young and foolish, and hanging around with the wrong crowd & didn't know any better. That's not an excuse, it's an explanation."
This was a time of excitement, happiness and drama because we didn't know any better.
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