Is there a word to describe "a piece of information that you only want to know until you know it, then you regret you ever asked about it"?

  • Or 'delusion'? ---- – user19148 Jun 22 '12 at 20:18
  • those both refer to how someone would feel afterward. I'm referring to the information itself. – shachna Jun 22 '12 at 21:06
  • 3
    TMI - too much information. – Mitch Jun 22 '12 at 21:58
  • On a scale of TMI to poisoned chalice, please rate the level of regret. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 22 '12 at 23:37
  • The level of regret don's matter. Just that there is regret. And it happens immediately. Meaning the only reason you want to know is curiosity, and once you're told you don't want to know it irks and eats at you until you have to know. But once you're told you regret it instantly. An imperfect and extreme example: If 1 cheats on 2 and then 3 finds out. 3 then let's slip to 4 (a good friend of 2), that it knows what 1 was up to that night. 4 then keeps badgering 3 with guesses and nagging until 3 breaks down and tells 4 what 1 did. 4 immediately regrets knowing this and tries to forget it. – shachna Jun 22 '12 at 23:54

The accepted answer given by Jasper Loy from the question "A common phrase that describes something that looks good but is actually not good" seems like it could apply here as well:

A poisoned chalice is something which seems good when received but actually does great harm.

Another related phrase is toxic knowledge. Though it is usually only used in discussing one's "genetic fate," I imagine you could get some traction out of it. At least one author has used it to mean, "knowledge that people seek which is ultimately bad for them."


I'm not sure if this will fit the purpose you have in mind, but I'd suggest "a can of worms."

To open a can of worms means to start a topic that might be more than you can handle. This makes it very similar to the myth of Pandora's box.

An online example for this particular idiom is: "When you brought that up, you opened a whole new can of worms."

I read that, born in the 1920s, this expression alludes to the image of opening a container and finding an inextricable (and thus complicated) tangle of worms used as bait.

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