So I'd guess almost everyone knows this feeling: you're hungry but nothing sounds good to eat. I don't think there is a commonly known word or phrase, but anyone know of a word or phrase that has been coined to describe such a situation?

P.S. I'm gonna try to get this one going... "I'm feeling picky." Just thought I'd do my research first :)

  • 3
    I'd say you're not really hungry; you're bored
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:45
  • 1
    You just lost your appetite.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 6:21
  • 1
    @Jim Hunger and appetite are independent. Being hungry with no appetite is very common, esp., due to psychosomatic factors.
    – Kris
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 6:22
  • I'd consider something like hunger malaise.
    – SrJoven
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 11:39

4 Answers 4


I would reference the beautiful word ennui;

en·nui änˈwē/

noun a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

or Satisfaction by the Stones


Sometimes this feeling arises when you're thirsty but you don't realize it.

If you feel both hungry and stuffed at the same time, you can say you're queasy.

A picky eater (or finicky eater) might not enjoy most foods even when hungry.

Also consider sweet tooth for someone who craves sugary foods or food snob for someone who only likes certain fancier foods.

  • Queasiness is a feeling of slight nausea. That's definitely not hungry and stuffed at the same time- it might be how feel you feel shortly after feeling hungry and stuffed, but I don't think anyone who is feeling queasy will say they also feel hungry.
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 4:01
  • 1
    The feeling I'm describing is definitely queasy, and also nauseous, but it's not the only type of queasy. I went many happy years without experiencing it, and if you're lucky, you've no idea what it feels like. The best way I can describe it is genuinely not knowing whether the eating a horse or eating nothing and throwing up will make the discomfort go away, or neither.
    – Qaz
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 4:24
  • Ok, but that is not what OP is asking about. I believe OP is asking about the standard, I'm hungry but I don't know what I want- not pizza, not steak, not salad, not sushi...
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:52
  • @Jim I know exactly what Qaz means, in my case it's caused by low blood sugar, which would be cured by eating, yet you don't feel like eating. I believe it's similar to morning sickness - ask any woman who's experienced that and she'll tell you how you can be hungry and queasy at the same time.
    – Mynamite
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 14:36

I think, fussy, fastidious and hard-to-please can convey the meaning:

  • Paying great or excessive attention to personal tastes and appearance; fastidious: He was always fussy about food.

  • excessively particular, critical, or demanding; hard to please: a fastidious eater.

  • requiring or characterized by excessive care or delicacy; painstaking.


Anorexia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Look up anorexia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Anorexia may refer to: Contents

1 Eating conditions
2 Relationships
3 Music
4 See also

Eating conditions

Anorexia (symptom), the symptom of poor appetite whatever the cause
Anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder of excessive weight loss and usually undue concern about body shape
Anorexia mirabilis, people who would starve themselves, sometimes to the death, for the sake of piety.

I think it could be a sign of anorexia.

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