England and Chelsea defender Terry, 31, is accused of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a Premier League game on October 23 last year.
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that at first Queens Park Rangers centre-half Ferdinand did not think any racist insult had been used.
He shook hands with Terry and accepted that their clash was "handbags" and "banter".
But after the match, his then girlfriend showed him a clip of their exchange posted on YouTube, and he believed Terry had used the racist obscenity.
Ferdinand told the court that if he had realised at the time he would have told officials.
He said: "I would have been obviously very hurt and I probably wouldn't have reacted at the time because, being a professional, you can't do that. I probably would have let the officials know what happened and dealt with it after the game.
"When someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it's very hurtful."
Chelsea were down to nine men in the clash at Loftus Road, and Ferdinand and Terry began trading insults over a penalty claim, the court heard.
Terry is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies. He maintains that he was only sarcastically repeating what Ferdinand wrongly thought he had said.