People Share The Things They Learned Embarrassingly Late In Life

Woman holding up an Oxford English Dictionary
Photo by Houcine Ncib on Unsplash

There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.

But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.

Redditor Curious-2577 asked:

"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"

Addictive Personality

"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"

"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."

"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."

- casper02127

Horse Toes

"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."

"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"

"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"

"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."

- BronNatsPulisic

Referencing Flowers

"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"

- too_sharp

Pastures New

"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."

"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"

"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."

"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"

"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."

"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."

- WorriedSoft

Mario Brothers

"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."

- dontbemystalker

Bonsai Trees

"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."

- ixent

Houston, We Have a Problem

"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."

- vienna_versailles

Cowboy Beans

"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"

"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"

"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"

"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."

"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."

- whyunoletmepost

The Pulitzer

"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"

- BendyBrains

Rum and Coke

"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."

"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."

- Th3seViolentDelights

Oh No, Not Acoma!

"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"

"I thought you fell into acoma."

- FightWithBrickWalls

It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip

"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."

- artemus_who


​"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."

- Baffhy_Duck

Ore-Ida Fries

"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."

"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."

- Deadhawk142

Kid Logic

"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."

- Presitigious_Sweet_50

Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.

But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.

Every family has customs or traditions which are unique to them.

Be it all gathering together to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol every Christmas eve or an annual fried chicken picnic with dark and stormies every fourth of July. They are well aware not everyone does this, which makes it all the more special.

However, depending on the way it was introduced to them, some children are raised to think certain customs or habits done by their family are, indeed, normal.

Only to grow up and realize that theirs might have been the only family in the world which partook in them.

In some cases, this discovery is met with laughs and maybe the tiniest bit of embarrassment.

Other times, it's no laughing matter.

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It might be super easy to find the lyrics to a song now that we've all got the entirety of the internet in our pockets, but it didn't used to be so simple. Unless you owned the album, and it was one that actually came with the lyrics on the sleeve/in the case, you just kind of had to guess if the words were unclear.

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All jobs are important. If they weren’t, those jobs wouldn’t exist.

However, some people view their profession as so important that they begin to develop a superiority complex.

This can be true for all professions, but Redditors maintain it’s more common in certain professions.

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People Break Down The Most Beautiful Places To Visit In The United States
Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

America the beautiful.

So much to see. So much to experience.

Just because we don't have exotic oceans and ancient history doesn't mean there isn't majesty to take in.

There are many vacations to put together.

And now we don't have to use a paper map to plan.

Our apps and GPS have it all planned out.

Redditor driedkitten wanted to compare notes about the greatest ways to see the USA, so they asked:

"Where is the most beautiful place in the United States?"

So far the cliffs of California is my favorite part of the US.

The Falls

niagara falls GIFGiphy

"Subjective of course, but Crater Lake is certainly a sight to behold."


"My home state of Oregon is full of beautiful places, South Umpqua falls, Illinois River, and Multnomah falls. Are some favorites."


Oh Hoh...

"A tie for Acadia, Hoh rainforest, and Rainier in the fall."


"I was going to say Acadia. It's very underrated for some reason. My mom's friend by coincidence ended up being my English professor in college and we went on a trip to see family in ME. We stopped at Acadia for a day and she said it reminded her a lot of her visit to Greece."


"Hoh rainforest is absolutely devastatingly beautiful. Hiked the whole Hoh river trail when I was 17 and it's still near the top of the list for my favorite things I've ever done."


In Awe

"Glacier national park. I was continuously in awe that the place was real life."


"The vistas of this road, on a motorcycle, were beyond breathtaking to experience. Would 100% do it again. Being on a bike allowed for stops at the waterfalls where there was no room for vehicles to pull over, and the views from the tunnels under the road were supernatural."


The Road Ahead

"There is a stretch of the Navajo reservation where there is no cell service, AM or FM radio reception. The road stretches before you for miles surrounded by red rocks touching blue sky. The buzzing undercurrent of modern connectivity fades away and your brain can be truly still."


"We did a little unscheduled off-roading in that area when we came to a road closed barrier. A Navajo couple pulled up alongside us while we pondered the dirt road heading roughly in the direction we wanted to go and assured us it was passable. Really lonely place... but wonderful."


On a Clear Day

Mountain GIF by Sunshine VillageGiphy

"Mount Rainier."


"If I stand right at the doorjamb of my front door on a clear day, I have a beautiful view. I owned this house for 15 years before I figured that out. You can't see it from any other position in the doorway, or if you're outside."


Mountains are hot. That is all.

See the Country

Happy Dance GIF by PLAYMOBILGiphy

"Depends on what you’re looking for. The United States is a big place."

"For me - Hawaii is hard to beat."


Beautiful scenery...

"Zion National Park is the most well-known place in Utah. But my entire state is an outdoorsman's paradise. LOTs of beautiful scenery in both the northern and southern parts of the state."


"Totally!!! And it’s very different. I personally prefer Southern Utah because the red rocks make me feel like I’m on Mars. But I grew up in the salt lake valley, so the mountains lost a lot of their majesty. But if I’m being honest, I miss them terribly."


Smell the old growth

"I’m incredibly biased, but the most beautiful place is the California redwoods. Drive up 101, and then detour towards Petrolia. There is absolutely nothing like it. Roll down your windows and drive 35mph. Smell the old growth. Stop at the pull out. Take a small hike. It’s worth it."


"Yes, 100%. My brother lives in McKinleyville and I am going to see him the end of April. Can't wait. It's my happy place. They are like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls... you have to see them to believe them. Those redwoods are something else!"



"Yosemite! You drive thru the tunnel and come out the other side. Looks like heaven/Utopia."


"Did a hike in Yosemite on January 1 last year. A spectacular way to start the year. I had seen photos of it, seen it in movies, watched countless videos on Youtube about it but -nothing- prepares you for the sight of El Cap as you turn that corner. I was very nearly moved to tears."



Episode 1 Boat GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

"The Shenandoah Valley. Its an amazing place if you're an outdoorsman. Hiking, fishing, hunting, bird watching, camping."


All the wonders of the world. I may have to check all of these out.

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.