One of the questions I came across reads:

The topography of the ocean floors none too well known, since in great areas the available soundings are hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.

What sort of syntax it is? Initially, I thought that it's not too well known. But when checked the source, it wasn't that.

What's the difference between not too well known and none too well known? Is there any?

  • In my opinion, 'none too well known' means 'not any too well known', so it is surely different from 'not too well known'. And I think 'none too well known' emphasizes 'not at all', but 'not too well known' doesn't.
    – GKK
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 10:49
  • None too means not very. For example, the food is none too good. I posted a similar question before.
    – dan
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


First, there's a verb - probably are - missing between the words floors and none.

But in answer to your question, the expression none too is a popular way of saying not too and often, not very.

One frequently comes across: none too soon, meaning just in time.

To say that someone is none too bright would mean not very clever.

You will find explanations and examples at many sites (google none too), including:


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