I knew a guy who thought the term “prima donna” meant “pre-Madonna”…

Like he thought before Madonna became a famous pop star…yeah, for real…

He also thought that the Prince song “1999” came out in 1999 and was specifically written for New Year’s Eve of that year.

And we never let him forget about it!

Have you ever had any experiences like that?

These AskReddit users sure have! Let’s check them out.

1. Just found out.

“Literally a month ago, I’m in my 30s.

When one cries crocodile tears, it means they are faking being sad. Crocodiles do “cry”, but the purpose is lubricating their eyes.

I thought that it meant someone was REALLY sad, and crying really big/a lot of tears. My logic was that if a Crocodile cried, those would be some big tears. Crying crocodile tears must mean someone is very sad!”

2. Okay…

“When you do something wrong but with enthusiasm, and someone says, “A for effort,” I didn’t understand that it meant an “A” as in school report card grades.

It never made sense because in my head, “E” is for Effort, like “C” is for Cookie. I finally had someone explain it to me sometime after I turned 30.”

3. Some tough years.

“I didn’t learn how to use a water fountain (those things you step on) ’till 7th grade.

I was always just standing in front of it awkwardly waiting for water to come out.”

4. A big one.

“That NSFW meant “Not safe for work.”

I always knew it was a tag for explicit content but It took me too long to learn what the actual acronym stood for!”

5. What’s wrong with this thing?

“When I was a kid I happened to pull on the coat hook in our station wagon at the EXACT moment my dad honked the horn.

I spent years yanking on that hook trying to make the horn honk.”

6. I’m into this.

“I was 26 years old when I realized that my mother’s name is Betty and her sister (who is a fraternal twin of hers, also something that I didn’t know) is named Wilma.

Wilma and Betty. From the Flintstones.

Also, I have two sisters, Serena and Samantha. From Bewitched.”

7. I’d be good at one of them…

“That a bar exam is a law thing and not related to running a pub/bar or serving alcohol.

I just found that out last month…”

8. Oh, really?

“My wife and I were discussing Thanksgiving plans one year.

She said “Thanksgiving’s on a Thursday this year.” We were both in our early 30’s and had lived in the US all our lives.

I laughed my a** off and she had no idea what was so funny.”

9. Ill Eagle.

“So I am a lawyer (relevant for story) the city I used to work in had an old federal courthouse with a bar in it called the Ill Eagle.

You already figured out the pun right? …did it take me until I went inside? Did it take someone saying it quickly so it sounded like they were saying ‘illegal’?

…No. It took WAY longer than that, as in multiple months.”

10. Now you got it.

“That the state Montana is literally the word ‘mountains’ in Spanish.

Didn’t realize until I was physically in Montana, staring up at some mountains, and thought ‘wow! Mountains are so pretty! Montañas… Montanas… montana, oh.’”

11. Yo, Adrian!

“Rocky Balboa was not a real person.

Think I was 17 or so when I found out he was a fictional character.”

12. The more you know…

“It’s with the wind chill and not with the wind shield.

I thought it meant the temperature inside a car.”

13. Right over your head.

“The Blink 182 album “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” is a pun about j**king off.

I was like 25 when I found out.”

14. Oh…

“That every show’s first episode is called the “Pilot” episode, and it’s not just a crazy coincidence for every show I watched.”

15. Couldn’t believe it.

“How ring binders work.

I thought you had to take out all the pages to add a new page to the back of the binder, which annoyed me in school because it could take a while having to realign all the pages to fit the holes in the binder.

I was about 22 when I worked in a bookstore and my coworker saw me take all the pages out, after which she showed me how it actually works. I will never forget the look of disbelief on her face.”

16. I think you blew it.

“When I was 16 this girl called me.

She asked if I had ever just called up a friend wanting to try to get laid.

I said no.

We talked about it, I encouraged her I thought it was okay blah blah blah, wished her luck hanging up.

About 15 years later I randomly thought about that s**t…”

17. Dummy.

“I will never forget the guy who spent a good part of his life thinking the saying was “Knowledge is Power. France is bacon”.”

18. Sounds sketchy.

“The black market isn’t an actual market.

As a kid I thought it took place in dark alleys.”

19. Martha’s Vineyard.

“When I was a kid I thought that Martha’s Vineyard was Martha Stewart’s home and celebrities were always going there because she liked to throw parties.

I was maybe in my 20s before I found out that wasn’t true.”

20. Wow…

“I was like 17 before I realized I didn’t have to get in the shower and then turn on the water and get blasted with cold water.

I can turn it on before I get in and just wait a second…”

21. Oops.

“My French press.

I owned one 9 months before I realized the coffee grounds go UNDER the plunger and not ON TOP of it. I was always so annoyed having to clean the top of the plunger after lowering the coffee into the water.

My girlfriend stared at me like I was the stupidest person she’d ever met trying to formulate how to politely fix this.”

22. Two different places.

“When I was younger I had no idea that New York and Newark were two different places.

I kept thinking people saying Newark were trying to say New York, but had a speech impediment or accent, or just didn’t know how to pronounce it.”

23. That took a while…

“So when I was a kid, I saw this rerun of a prank that the BBC pulled off in the late 1950s.

It was basically a hoax broadcast they did for April fools day, in which it showed old footage of people picking (or harvesting) spaghetti out of trees.


For some reason it just never clicked.

I spent most of my childhood and my teen years believing it. And I had just never happened upon the subject.

I was 19 years old when I found out that spaghetti doesn’t grow on trees.”

24. Who knew?

“When I was a kid back in the early 90’s I was obsessed with WWF wrestling.

It didn’t hit me until years later that The Undertaker’s manager’s name, Paul Bearer, wasn’t his real name.”

25. Yuck.

“That the trough in a porta potty is for the guy to pee in. I said to my dad one day, how are you supposed to wash your hands in that sink with no water?

He stood there is shocked disbelief as he explained to me that is where YOU are to pee. I was probably around 18 when this happened.”

26. Use as much as you want!

“I was probably 20 or so when I realized that cold water in a home is not free.

I grew up thinking somehow that you only had to pay for hot water.”

Tell us what took YOU a long time to figure out.

Do it in the comments.

Thanks a bunch!