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rude awakening

The shocking instance of learning the unpleasant or unwelcome truth about a situation. We had a rude awakening when the waiter brought us the bill and we saw how much we had spent on dinner and drinks.
See also: awaken, rude

a rude awakening

if you have a rude awakening, you have a severe shock when you discover the truth of a situation We had a rude awakening when we saw the amount of our phone bill. You've been so spoiled by your parents, you are in for a rude awakening when you start to look after yourself.
See also: awaken, rude