When I was about 7 years old, my father brought me to his work to sing Christmas carols to his colleagues. I was thrilled to get them into the holiday spirit (and loved the attention of having everyone listen to my beautiful voice), so I belted out each song loud and proud. And while singing Feliz Navidad (a classic), I confidently sang the line “prospero año y felicidad” as “prospero baño y felicidad”. If you’re not familiar with Spanish, instead of “year”, I was saying bathroom

As mortifying as this experience was for child Adelaide, it’s a great story to tell today. And apparently, it is incredibly common for kids to hilariously misunderstand adults. Reddit users have been sharing the common words and phrases they misunderstood as children, and their stories are much more hilarious than mine.

We’ve gathered some of the best ones down below, including some you may be embarrassed to admit you can relate to, so be sure to upvote all of your favorites. Let us know in the comments if you or your little ones were ever confused by any of these terms or sayings, and then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring adorable ways kids misunderstand adults, look no further than right here

More info: Reddit | Reddit | Reddit

#1

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Euthanize. I thought it was youth-anise, and meant to make someone younger. Telling gramma she needed to be Euthanized did not go over well during Christmas dinner

Rabidmushroom , Irina Report

#2

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up When I was young my father said to me:

"Knowledge is Power....Francis Bacon"

I understood it as "Knowledge is power, France is Bacon".

For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two? If I said the quote to someone, "Knowledge is power, France is Bacon" they nodded knowingly. Or someone might say, "Knowledge is power" and I'd finish the quote "France is Bacon" and they wouldn't look at me like I'd said something very odd but thoughtfully agree. I did ask a teacher what did "Knowledge is power, France is bacon" mean and got a full 10 minute explanation of the Knowledge is power bit but nothing on "France is bacon". When I prompted further explanation by saying "France is Bacon?" in a questioning tone I just got a "yes". at 12 I didn't have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I'd never understand.

It wasn't until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped

Lard_Baron , matthew Feeney Report

Balso Steele
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Damn, you guys are really digging into the bottom of the barrel. This was originally posted in 2010.

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#3

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Growing up Catholic, there were times in Mass when the congregation would say "Thanks be to God". Well I heard "Thanks Speedy God" and assumed we were applauding his fast delivery on prayers.

kcgnarly , Karl Fredrickson Report

#4

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Death Sentence.

I thought that the executioner actually spoke a sentence into your ear that killed you if you heard it. I figured that's why he wore a hood, so that no one could read his lips.

Sykotik , JC Gellidon Report

Telmo Belo
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's a movie to be written in there, somewhere

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#5

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up When I was a young lad, I was helping my Grandpa with chores around the barn. When we cleaned up, he brought out an air compressor to blow out the dust on the floor, he would call this a "Blow job" and would say s**t like, "C'mon, Tantantheman74, let's give this barn a blowjob!" Come Monday morning, my kindergarten teacher asks me what I did on the weekend, to which I replied, "Oh, Grandpa and I did a blowjob in the barn!" My momma told me this story the other day and I am honestly not even mad at that joke, Grandpa is a clever old bastard.

Tantantheman74 , sawyer Report

Anne Jones
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

😳 I’m surprised that questions weren’t asked….

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#6

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up When I was five years old my dog ran away. One night while the dog was still missing, I overheard my mother say the following while cutting a roast: "This is one tough puppy". I FREAKED out. Nothing she said could convince me that she hadn't cooked my beloved dog. Lucky for her, my dog came home that night.

sovietferret , Pauline Loroy Report

#7

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up My dad was a lawyer and when I was about 9 this boy in class said angrily, 'you're going to be a prostitute when you're old!' I thought he meant prosecute and assumed it was a law job and I nodded my head enthusiastically, ' Yes! Yes! I'm gonna be a prostitute and work for my dad' Following day my parents had one of those formal after school meetings and I only recently connected the dots.

missvoodoo25 , Hunters Race Report

Miocha
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A lil bit OOT, but 9 years old boy cursed at at girl to be a prostitute is a different level of sadness

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#8

Don Quixote. I misunderstood it as "Donkey Hotay" and thought it was about the adventures of a donkey named Hotay.

CaucasianDelegation Report

#9

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I always thought Alzheimer's disease was "Old Timer's disease." Mostly because it happened to old timers and that made sense to me.

_Jimmy_Rustler , Matt Bennett Report

Anne Jones
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I shouldn’t have laughed but I did! 😁

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#10

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I thought "Amen" was said at the end of a prayer to mirror what God would say when he looked down, "Aaah! Men".

Crucervix , Fa Barboza Report

#11

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I always thought that Right Said Fred's song 'I'm Too Sexy' was about his love for the number 264.

I'm... two sixty four. My shirt: two sixty four. My car: two sixty four. Etc.

thiscloud , Sven Mandel Report

Anne Jones
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Mis hearing song words is hilarious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UiuygmkHuA

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#12

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I thought they were called 'girl cheese sandwiches' and wondered why since boys ate them too.

hellotanuki , Pixzolo Photography Report

#13

When I was six, I understood what the phrase "_____ nut" (health nut, fitness nut, etc) meant, but I assumed you could swap out the word "nut" for anything else and it would still make sense.

So one day, when my mother wasn't letting me have enough cookies, I called her a "nutrition horse."

This would have been fine EXCEPT I had a speech impediment and couldn't pronounce the letter "s" at the time.

So I ended up, quite literally, calling my mother "a nutrition wh**e."

It took me 12 years to realize why she had been so mad about that one.

bartletforamerica98 Report

#14

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I thought women took actual showers with their babies at baby showers. My mom kept asking me if I wanted to go with her to one and I always said no because I didn't want to share a shower with my mom and people think I was a baby. Later I learned its because you get "showered" with gifts and I was sad about all the chicken salad I missed out on.

white_girl , Kampus Production Report

#15

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Not only as a child, but wellllllllllll into adulthood - only to be corrected by my wife and forever mocked since - I swear to god I thought it was "endsmeat" as in a really cheap meat dish.

*we were so poor we couldn't make endsmeat*

Otto_Maller , Jason Leung Report

#16

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up For some reason I thought the word "sucker" was a compliment. One time a lady at the bank gave me a lollipop and I said, "A sucker from a sucker, right Mom?"

carbonetc , Markus Spiske Report

Iconic
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

BHAHAHAHAHAH 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

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#17

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up "If 'so and so' is going to go jump off a bridge, are you going to go to?"

My mom said this to me when I wanted to do something just because my friend was going to go do it. I took it literally and was really excited to go bridge jumping. I put on my swimsuit and packed a little beach bag, went downstairs and asked my mom if she was ready to take me over to her house to go bridge jumping.

swissmissys , Rémi Thorel Report

#18

Guerilla warfare: the first few times I heard this, I imagined the army was giving machine guns to great apes.

transcriptase Report

#19

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I thought when you moved somewhere, you had to find a person in that town who needed to move to your town and then swap homes with them

Jux_ , Handiwork NYC Report

Anne Jones
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That can happen in the UK if you are a Council tenant. It’s called a housing exchange.

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#20

I thought mental as in "You're mental." meant sane so when a kid in third grade said that to me I looked him dead in the eyes and said "Yeah, I am." I only realized much later that it probably made me look even more unhinged.

flipwhigsynonym Report

General Anaesthesia
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One thing is certain, it robbed him of his insult. Well done.

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#21

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up My dad's friend said his hairline was receding. I thought he meant "re-seeding", like he was growing more hair. I said, "Hopefully it doesn't seed too much. You don't want to look like a werewolf."

captainmagictrousers , Hair Spies Report

Robert T
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish. It just migrates South and starts coming out of your ears and nose. :(

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#22

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up For the longest time when I was little I used to think "Jesus Christ!" was "cheesy crust"... I was pretty confused in church. It wasn't until halfway through first grade did I actually confront my mother about it and ask why they kept talking about toast.

spunky-omelette , Yukiko Kanada Report

Tofu
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

church would've been way more enjoyable if they had actually talked about cheesy crust

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#23

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up When I was like 5 or 6, one of my dad's friends said that he was going to get a boxing match on *pay-per-view*, and I asked, "Why do you want to watch it on paper? It would look better on TV."

VictorBlimpmuscle , Mollie Sivaram Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#24

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I used to think that news reporting of a "body" or "bodies" being found or recovered excluded "head". I was horrified that all of these corpses had been beheaded and the heads were still missing.

chief_piggum , Filip Mishevski Report

Robert T
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Someone spent too long staring at the Head and Shoulders bottle. ;-)

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#25

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I always thought "Euthanasia" was "Youth in Asia" and couldn't figure out why it was a big controversial issue. Yeah there are kids living in asia, so what?

LxRogue , Lux Graves Report

#26

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I thought "human being" was "human bean" because of my parents' accent. Was always confused as to why I was a bean.

Sworn_to_the_dark , Ryoji Iwata Report

#27

When I was little, I thought "drinking and driving" meant the physical act of drinking a beverage, not just alcohol. One day when I was 6 I told my mother not to drink and drive while she sipped a Diet Pepsi and she just laughed at me

theleftenant Report

#28

I thought everyone lived to the exact same age. Like my brother taunted me for being three years younger than him, but in my mind it was no sweat because I was gonna be alive for 3 years after he died.

positiveemotions Report

#29

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up My school had us selling chocolate bars as a fund raiser. I thought the guy was calling it a FUN raiser. I was very confused as to how this was supposed to be increasing the level of fun at the school. If anything it was making me have less fun.

Doctor-Amazing , Aranxa Esteve Report

tuzdayschild
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nothing fun about that house to house forced child labor.

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#30

I thought for a couple months when I was young that when you said "it's a quarter past five" it meant 5:25 since a quarter was 25 cents. I proceeded to use dime and nickel to reference time

mtv7 Report

#31

Simply Prima donna I had never seen it writen down and was convinced it ment a time before Madonna was born

RockRidX Report

Robert T
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Was a joke on a TV show about someone who couldn't say Prima Donna and instead called them a Prima Donut. :D

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#32

When I heard phrases like "smoking kills" as a kid I genuinely thought you would just drop dead randomly. So when my dad would be smoking his cigarette I would start crying because I thought there was a chance he would just up and disappear.

philuhbuster Report

#33

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up I used to mix up terrorist and tourist when I was younger and whenever I went to a foreign place I'd say "I'm a terrorist!"

HamBus , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Greta Kolding
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You would never have been allowed into the USA, even if you were only 3 yo

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#34

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Pubic - always thought it was'public' and it just never made any sense....

moonshine211 , Brett Jordan Report

Nenya
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hahaa, if we turn it around, it could actually be used…? You’ve got your public and non-public hair😁

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#35

Black and white videos/pictures, I thought that people used to only see in black and white and that I was lucky to have the ability to see all the colours

anon Report

Greta Kolding
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Children often believe that the world used to be in black and white when they see old films and photos.

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#36

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up God Bless You.

I always heard people just say it quick and assumed for the longest time it was "gablesh you."

I was definitely not raised religious.

anon , Andrea Piacquadio Report

Psychopathic Shark
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always thought it was bleshoe and though it was something to do with shoes

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#37

Keep your nose clean. There was a line in a movie I was watching when I was six that was something like, "He's involved in all these illegal things but somehow still manages to keep his nose clean." and I thought it referred to nose picking so I thought it was hilarious. Like, this guy is super busy being a criminal but he still finds the time to mine for nose gold.

multiplesifl Report

Bec
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I read a book where a girl was told to 'hold her tongue ' which I took literally and tried to do

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#38

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up i thought for a very (almost too long) time that an "only child" was pronounced "lonely child" because they had no siblings.

TomKfisherFFW , Jessica Rockowitz Report

#39

40 Adults Share What They Totally Misunderstood As Children, And It Might Crack You Up Somehow I understood that mannequins in department stores were made from real people. My mom couldn't understand why I stayed so close when we went shopping

tuxedodiplomat , Kitti Incédi Report

#40

"When I was growing up".

Adults use it to refer to their childhood, but I didn't understand that childhood to adulthood was a gradual transition. I thought it was a "Mario mushroom" type event that occurs at some point, only lasting a few seconds, and that all these "when I was growing up" stories all happened in those few seconds.

PallBear Report

Jaya
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As an aunt, I swear this is actually true. My little niece just seems to be so much taller every time I see her, even if I just saw her the other day.

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Note: this post originally had 78 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.