Understanding the Idiom: "appetite comes with eating" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: English
Etymology: Calque of French l’appétit vient en mangeant, first used by François Rabelais.

When we hear the phrase “appetite comes with eating,” we might immediately think of food. However, this idiom can be applied to many aspects of life beyond just our physical hunger. The idea behind it is that the more we experience something, the more we want it.

This idiom speaks to the human tendency to develop a taste for things over time. At first, we may not be interested in trying new foods or activities, but once we give them a chance and start experiencing them, our desire for them grows.

Origins and Historical Context of the Idiom “appetite comes with eating”

The phrase “appetite comes with eating” is a common idiom used to describe how one’s desire for something increases as they experience it more. This concept has been around for centuries and can be traced back to ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who stated that “the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

The idea behind this idiom is that the more you try something, the more you will enjoy it and want more of it. This can apply to anything from food to hobbies to relationships. The origins of this idiom are unclear, but it has been used in various forms throughout history.

In medieval times, there was a similar saying: “Hunger makes the best sauce.” This meant that when someone was hungry, even plain or unappetizing food would taste better because their hunger had heightened their senses.

During the Renaissance era, French writer François Rabelais wrote in his book Gargantua and Pantagruel: “Appetite comes with eating; drinking thirsts while quenching.” This phrase became popularized and eventually evolved into the modern-day version we know today.

Usage and Variations of the Idiom “appetite comes with eating”

One common usage of this idiom is to suggest that one must first try something before they can truly know whether or not they like it. In other words, one’s interest or enthusiasm for something may grow once they have experienced it firsthand. For example, if someone is hesitant about trying a new food, you might say “just give it a taste – appetite comes with eating!”

Another interpretation of this phrase is related to motivation and productivity. It suggests that once someone starts working on a task or project, their desire to continue working on it will increase over time as they become more invested in the outcome. This could apply to anything from studying for an exam to completing a home renovation project.

In some cases, this idiom may also be used sarcastically or ironically. For example, if someone has been forced into doing something they don’t enjoy (such as attending a boring meeting), they might say “well I guess appetite doesn’t always come with eating!”

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Cultural Insights for the Idiom “appetite comes with eating”


Expression Meaning
The more you have, the more you want A phrase that describes how people’s desires grow as they acquire more of something.
You can’t judge a book by its cover An expression that means appearances can be deceiving and one should not form an opinion based solely on external factors.
Familiarity breeds contempt A phrase that suggests people may lose respect or admiration for something or someone once they become too familiar with them.


Expression Meaning
You can have too much of a good thing This phrase implies that overindulgence in something enjoyable can lead to negative consequences.
Better safe than sorry An expression that advises caution rather than taking unnecessary risks.
Ignorance is bliss A phrase that suggests not knowing about a problem or situation can be more comfortable than being aware of it.

Cultural Insights:

The idiom “appetite comes with eating” has its roots in French cuisine and was first recorded in English in the 17th century. It reflects the idea that one must try something before they can truly appreciate it. In many cultures, sharing food is an important social activity and trying new dishes is seen as a way to broaden one’s horizons.

Practical Exercises for the Idiom “appetite comes with eating”

Get Familiar with the Idiom

Before diving into practical exercises, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what the idiom “appetite comes with eating” means. This expression suggests that you will become more interested in something as you experience it more. It can be applied to various situations, such as trying new foods or starting a new hobby.

Practice Using the Idiom

To improve your understanding and use of this idiom, try incorporating it into your daily conversations and writing. Here are some examples:

“I wasn’t sure about joining the book club at first, but now I’m really enjoying it. I guess appetite really does come with eating.”

“My friend was hesitant to try sushi, but after taking a few bites she couldn’t get enough. Appetite definitely came with eating for her!”

“I know learning a new language can be challenging at first, but don’t give up! Remember that appetite comes with eating.”

Another way to practice is by creating scenarios where this idiom would apply and discussing them with friends or colleagues.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Idiom “appetite comes with eating”

When using idioms in conversation or writing, it is important to use them correctly and avoid common mistakes. The idiom “appetite comes with eating” is no exception.

Avoiding Literal Interpretation

The first mistake to avoid when using this idiom is taking it literally. This idiom does not refer to actual hunger or appetite, but rather means that you may develop a liking for something after trying it out.

Using Incorrect Context

Another mistake to avoid is using this idiom in an incorrect context. It should only be used when referring to trying new things or experiences, and not when talking about physical hunger or food consumption.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can use the idiom “appetite comes with eating” effectively in your conversations and writing.

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