not 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

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
References in classic literature ?
I do not know any better qualifications for a friend and companion.
She was twelve years old and did not know any better.
Then, why not go after the syndicates, the adults, not the children who do not know any better and are vulnerable?
Just as I did not judge Mary, we can't judge parents who are deceived because they did not know any better or could do no more.
People then said he should not really be held to account because he is 77, he is of a different generation and does not know any better, and I suppose you can accept that up to a point.
an innocent kid who does not know any better, and can only imitate and follow instruction from the people he trusts most.
In both cases, these managers simply do not know any better.
Many are fine if you are firm with them but I can see that a lot of tourists are simply ripped off because they do not know any better.
He also was critical of reports that he said unfairly referred to demonstrators as being "rowdy," "unruly;" involving "extremists" or "misguided," indicating that this left an impression on those who did not know any better.
Maybe the striker might argue he did not know any better.
I do not know any better," my client cried during a break in an intense planning session I was conducting.
It is about time we rooted out the cowards, idiots and scumbags, so those who do not know any better can never refer to them as football fans again.
They took young children who did not know any better and sodomized them.
Not because we do not know any better, but because many do not want to lose face by admitting a mistake the first time around.
It is not a deliberate act but as an Eton-educated millionaire, he just does not know any better.
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