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.

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