Things you're suprised people haven't heard of

whether people in general, or in a specific circumstance.

Brought to mind because of an article recommending comics with female protagonists. The writer mentioned Girl Genius, but not Digger. How could you miss Digger?! She’d never heard of it. How can a comic fan who spends time online not have heard of Ursula Vernon and Digger?! (Please don’t point out logic here…)

So, when have you run across a similar situation?

I have a friend who had never heard of string cheese. She’s spent most of her life in the U.S. but she was a Russian refugee, so I guess I give her some slack. But seriously? We had to teach her to peel it instead of just bite it.

I don’t have a TV so I ‘miss out’ on so much trivia.

I didn’t know who Kim Kardasian was until I saw her on South Park.

I knew a teenage male film fan who had never heard of Starwars

I meet a lot of people that have never heard of falafel. I find that especially strange if you live around North Jersey/NYC.

Namkcalb, I feel your pain :slight_smile: People are constantly explaining trivia to me. I didn’t know that you can buy a cell phone signal amplifier until Bill got tired of me standing outside in the heat to talk to him and sent me one. (no reception inside my house and there were only certain places outside that I had a signal) It totally changed my world.

Jackson Browne.

Nobody my age or younger has heard of him. I’m not that old…

I knew reading this thread was going to be a good idea! I love Girl Genius, but had never heard of Digger! Thanks!

(Also…I bite string cheese; I never peel it!)

I was once startled by a Brit who didn’t know the HMS Victory was still around. For some reason, he thought it had been scrapped before WWI. I gave him the coordinates on Google Maps, and he fell all over himself in astonishment. (And happiness.) And me, a bloomin’ Yank!

While backpacking in New Zealand, I had to explain to a couple of English gals that peanut butter and jam is a common (and delicious) type of sandwich in North America. Yes, I specifically avoided the word “jelly” to avoid confusion. They thought it was an odd combination; something about mixing sweet and savory. I persuaded them to try it (they had blackberry jam, someone else had bread and peanut butter), and their reaction was along the lines of “That’s okay, I guess, but I don’t think I’ll want to have it ever again.”

Protip: Peanut butter is not in the savory category (at least not straight out of the jar).

Niels H. D. Bohr or Paul A. M. Dirac. “Einstein” is so commonplace that you can almost make an argument for using a small ‘e.’ But mention either of these guys (any place but SDMB) and you might get a lolwut.

One of my friends told me about a year ago that she’d never heard of Lady Gaga. That stunned me- she was all over the place at the time. I’m still puzzled by it- my friend has to live under some sort of rock.

I had a friend who was 19 a few years ago and he’d never heard the expression “<doing something> like it’s going out of style.” Like “Wow, he’s going through those chicken mcnuggets like they’re going out of style!”

I was shocked, to say the least. How could someone have lived 19 years (and in the US, too) and not have heard that phrase once? But he hadn’t, apparently.
In another case, my neighbor (a 56 year old) had never heard the term “Rat Bastard” until I used it one day. He asked me what that was and I said it was a fairly common term (at least I always thought it was common).

That would surprise me, too. It sounds like an old-timey phrase, doesn’t it? Like something Jackie Gleason would spit out in some old movie.

My wife was unaware that London was bombed during WWII. The whole Battle of Britain was lost on her. Not that she’s a history buff but she watches enough drama/romance movies set in various time periods that I assumed she’d have just absorbed it at some point.

I had a thread in Cafe Society recently. I was surprised that a young woman, a musical theater student(first year), had never heard of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” Or Gilbert and Sullivan themselves.

On the other end, about a year ago I was part of a birthday celebration for a young girl, eleven years old. A whole pack of young girls was mooning over someone called Justin Bieber. I asked, “who’s Justin Bieber?” They were astonished I had never heard of him.

It’s funny. I’ve heard of everything mentioned in this thread. Except the webcomic Digger.


There’s someone (an american) on the sdmb that started a thread asking if eating potatoes was common in america, if I remember well; that pretty surprised me.

In real life, last year while assisting to a celebration about that: , I met a couple of teenagers wondering aloud what was that, and what ever happened on that day, uh, nothing, why are there so many people here?
It surprised me because it’s a huge thing in french history, and also because you learn all about it in high-school, whether you want to or not. I guess not in all cases.

To this day, I can’t help thinking people are referring to a “Cardassian” from Star Trek.

I can’t think of any specifics off the top of my head, but I’ve learned to be careful about how I respond to those who are unfamiliar with something I thought was common knowledge. I’m pretty sure I’ve offended someone by assuming they were being sarcastic when, in fact, they just didn’t know. The other extreme is being whooshed by someone who is, in fact, being sarcastic and I try to explain to them. If that makes sense…

Bottom line is I’m not very good at reading people and apparently I can sound really condescending when I don’t mean to.

I had a client a couple years ago, in her mid-50’s or so. She got some, perhaps all, of her news of the world from supermarket tabloids. In some thread of chit-chat with her, at some point I mentioned the Cold War. She asked me what that was. I was astonished that any child of the 1950’s would not have known about that.

ETA: I myself still don’t know what a Kardashian is. Perhaps that arises from not getting my news of the world from supermarket tabloids. And besides, sometimes ignorance is best not fought.