old enough to know better

old enough to know better

Mature enough to have good judgment. This phrase, sometimes completed with but young enough to learn, dates from the nineteenth century. Oscar Wilde played with it in Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892): “My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don’t know anything at all.”
See also: better, enough, know, old
References in classic literature ?
Ladies, too, were concerned (I am really afraid I am saying too much) - all sorts of ladies, some old enough to know better than to put their trust in princes, others young and full of illusions.
I told him he was old enough to know better. But my experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.
Senator Chauncey Depew is old enough to know better. The editor of
For two days I fought against the strong desire to go there that had suddenly seized me, and assured myself that I would not go, that it would be absurd to go, undignified, sentimental, and silly, that I did not know them and would be in an awkward position, and that I was old enough to know better. But who can foretell from one hour to the next what a woman will do?
I would have thought Captain Wilson was old enough to know better."
You are old enough to know better now, Agatha--quite old enough."
"There's always going to be people who don't understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I'm only acting and communicating on the science." Climate activist Greta Thunberg is only 16, but she's teaching some people who are old enough to know better a few things when it comes to the environment.
"And towards end of the game some of our so-called senior fans, blokes old enough to know better, beckoning the QPR fans with some awful actions."
Men and women old enough to know better attempted ska dances.
He concluded: "This was an act of immature and selfish behaviour from a man old enough to know better."
Former Rangers manager Graeme Souness described Allan McGregor's sending-off against Hibernian as "stupid" and insists the goalkeeper is old enough to know better.
She shouldn't be brought down for decisions she's made in her private life, especially by people who are old enough to know better and would be better advised dealing with their own clumsy attempt at getting through life in one piece (that's me, by the way) than worrying about the antics of those we don't know.
I realise I'm old enough to know better, but I'd love to have the chance to try again with my boyfriend.
"Old enough to know better, young enough to not give a f* !
He told Willis: "You're old enough to know better than this.