People Confess What They Learned Embarrassingly Late In Life
tabitha turner on Unsplash

A wiser person can educate us on the ways of the world. But, try as they might, we pupils may never have a true grasp of what they're imparting to us unless we acquire knowledge on our own.

We might also effectively learn from the social mistakes we make before continuing on in life with a new awareness of the world around us.

As admirable as those efforts may seem, however, it doesn't mean there is humility in the process.

Curious to hear about strangers' vulnerable moments, Redditor Interesting_Aioli_75 asked:

"What did you learn at an embarrassingly late age?"

These gaffes relate to words and meanings.

​Could You Believe It?

"My dad once told me that the word 'gullible' isn't in the dictionary. 18 years later, I got the joke."

– demolitiondubz


"The meaning of birthday suit. I was 26 at the time."

– the_meat_n_potatoes

That's One Interpretation

"when i was about 9 my mother told me that a slut is a woman who likes to have fun. i started describing myself as a slut and i did for about a year or 2"

– adhdgf

Certain phrases depicting something got lost in translation.

Not An Era In Pop Culture

"Prima Donna is not Pre Madonna."

– iremovebrains

"The timeline of music is divided into three distinct periods. Pre Modanna, post Malone, and the dark ages."

– well_known_bastard

How Nutty

"I don't know why but whenever someone mentioned that a piece of furniture (or often the dashboard of a nice car) was walnut, I kind of thought they meant the nut and shells all crushed up and smoothened and I wondered how they did it. Then, in my thirties, I realised they probably make it from the tree. Felt like a right walnut that day."

– livid54

Quite The Release

"I thought orgasm was a nice word for fart when I was 10. Told my mom I had so many orgasms that my stomach hurt."

– shahrukh_khan_SRK

People had strong assumptions about specific things...until they embarrassingly didn't.

One Wrong Vowel

"I was deep into my teens when I realized it’s 'make ends meet' instead of 'make end’s meat.' I always visualized it as procuring the last bit of food you could in tough times. Wrong!"

– um8medoit

There's A Difference

"The Paralympics and the Special Olympics are not the same thing."

"I feel terrible."

– Vic_Hedges

"Ohhhh, friend... no, no, no, no, no.... the 'Special Olympics' is a feel-good charity-type thing where basically anyone with any disability (physical or mental) can participate, regardless of skill and/or ability in whichever event/sport, and at the end of whatever event, everyone gets a medal just for participating."

"The Paralympics, on the other hand.... is affiliated with the IOC, is just as competitive as the 'regular' Olympics, and has elite athletes who must compete at different stages in order to qualify. Additionally, there are class levels based on the nature and level of a person's disability."

"Edit: Okay, fine. Maybe not everyone literally gets a medal in the Special Olympics, but everyone does get some sort of ribbon and/or participation trophy. The focus is on participation, not skill or aptitude. And it's mainly for people with cognitive disabilities, although if you have physical and cognitive disabilities, you can participate. And like I said, as long as you have a cognitive disability, you can participate, there's no tryouts or whatever."

– YonderPricyCallipers

Urine For A Surprise

"I always thought that if a guy didn't hold his penis while he was peeing, that it would whip around like a fire hose."

– zygomelonm

Bamboozled By A Bird​

"Fruit Loops are all the same flavor. I was 27, and I still remember the shock of finding out Toucan Sam had been lying to me my whole life."

– sfw8580

A Painful Lesson

"It took me 10 years and $20,000 to figure out how credit cards were supposed to be used."

– bangersnmash13

Regional Misunderstanding

"I was 8 when I finally learned there was no r in the word 'idea.'"

"For context: I am from Boston."

– Raven4869

Heightened Mistake

"That emperor penguins are only about 4 ft. tall, not 6 ft. like I imagined."

– rachaelonreddit

Envelope Value

"That envelopes are inexpensive. Growing up, my parents didn't have much money, so they were very frugal and didn't waste anything. I drew on an envelope one time and my mom fussed a bit because I already had drawing paper and envelopes were only for mail and that I shouldn't waste them. Fair enough."

"When I moved out for college, I didn't really need to mail anything because email existed and I lived close enough to home to just drive there if I really needed something. When I did have to mail something, I just bought an envelope and stamp together at the post office. It was expensive, but it just reenforced my thought that envelopes are expensive. Paying bills online came about around the time I graduated, so again, I infrequently needed envelopes, and only bought one at a time when I did."

"After getting married, my wife volunteered to handle all of our bills and taxes because she likes doing it. So again, I am not buying envelopes."

"Finally, at age 38, I found my daughter drawing on an envelope. I gently chided her and told her that envelopes are too expensive to just draw on them and to use her drawing pad instead. My wife overheard me and asked what the hell I was talking about. I explained and she laughed for ten minutes before she calmed down enough to show me the box of 40 envelopes she got at the dollar store. Lesson learned."

– philosofik

It's never too late to learn.

But it doesn't mean some realizations way later in our adult lives that appeared to have been common knowledge are downright humiliating.

But isn't that better than being left in the dark about a lot of things?

Truth Delivered

"As a kid my only experience with the mail service was the school bookclub, so my stuff would arrive late, by months at times, and I straight up didn't get the coolest issue in my space magazine collection."

"I still have a gut assumption that stuff just straight up won't arrive if it has to be mailed. I barely ever online shop. I'm finally getting over that aversion, but it took like 12 years for me to realise the post is more reliable than the scholastic book club."

– ASpaceOstrich

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.

Your home should be sanctuary, which is to say that we hope that nothing bad ever happens once we move in. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out that way, and sometimes things happen that unnerve the hell out of us.

Is there anything more creepy than being alone at home... only to get the feeling that you're not alone at all? What if you were being watched?! It's the stuff of nightmares, isn't it? And I haven't even touched on the possibility of paranormal activity yet...

People shared their stories with us after Redditor Savings_Actuator asked the online community,

"What is the creepiest thing you've ever experienced in your home?"
Keep reading...Show less
People Describe The Moment They Realized They've Been Doing Something Wrong For Years

It can be very embarrassing when you pronounce words wrong. Let's face it, the English language is super complicated, especially if you're learning it for the first time. You can't always trust yourself to pronounce things phonetically either because of all the different rules!

Recently, a relative pronounced the word "epitome" like "epi-tome." They were embarrassed when I corrected them. I told them that it wasn't a big deal, though they did note that they love that word, have used it for a long time, and that no one corrected them until that moment...


People told their stories after Redditor adeptwarrior asked the online community,

"What's an 'oh sh*t' moment where you realised you've been doing something the wrong way for years?"
Keep reading...Show less
People Break Down Which TV Shows Aged Poorly
Francisco Andreotti/Unsplash

There are many TV shows with compelling themes and interesting character developments that impressed both critics and audiences alike back in the day.

But some of the shows that once captivated audiences have not aged well, and there are many elements in them that are outdated by today's standards.

Keep reading...Show less
People Who Moved Out Of Their Parents' Home Before Turning 30 Share Their Experiences
Michal Balog/Unsplash

After having grown up inside the protective environment that was your childhood home, the inevitable time to leave and carve out your own path without a safety net can be terrifying.

Emotions can vary–with some people itching to leave their trappings while others terrified of adulting in the real world.

Keep reading...Show less