English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Hebrew there is a phrase that roughly translates:

On taste and smell there is no point in arguing.

This is of course because both are very subjective.
Is there an English phrase that passes the same sentiment? (That it is senseless to debate tastes).

share|improve this question
De gustibus non est disputandum” is a phrase well-known to many English speakers, although not quite an English phrase. – jwpat7 Mar 5 '13 at 8:16
up vote 10 down vote accepted


  1. Every man to his taste: Prov. Everyone likes something different, and you should not condemn people because of what they like. (Can be used to remark that someone's tastes are different from yours, as in the first example.)
  2. There's no accounting for taste: Prov. You cannot blame different people because they like different things, even if you do not understand why they like what they like.
  3. Tastes differ: Prov. Different people like different things.
  4. One man's meat is another man's poison: Prov. Something that one person likes may be distasteful to someone else.
  5. To each his own / Each to his own: Every person is entitled to his or her personal preferences and tastes.

There's also a related (but crude) phrase, "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.", which is well known.

share|improve this answer
"Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one." lol – lu yuan Mar 5 '13 at 8:03
'To each his own' seems the best answer here. The other options provide some nice elaboration. – jimbotherisenclown Mar 5 '13 at 8:05
Is there an unspoken statement after your last example? "Your opinion means that you are one." – Andrew Leach Mar 5 '13 at 8:25

I am reminded of the phrases: "In matters of taste, there can be no disputes" or "There must not be debate concerning tastes".

Both these phrases are the translation of the Latin saying de gustibus non est disputandum. It implies that taste is a matter of opinion in which there is no right or wrong, thus its not subject to be debated.

share|improve this answer
This is very enlightening. Thank you. I didn't accept this answer because it is a Latin translation, and not an English phrase. But hey... At least now I know where the Hebrew phrase comes from. – bldoron Mar 5 '13 at 9:28
You are welcome. Correctly said, the phrases are actually translations of the Latin saying and did not originate in the English language. However, your description caused this to immediately spring up in my mind. I am quite happy with you accepting the current answer though. – KeyBrd Basher Mar 5 '13 at 10:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.