Let's say I'm always hungry, even after I have my meal(s). What would be a word to express that? IMHO, I think starving, famished won't be applicable as these words would only describe the current situation.
closed as off-topic by tchrist♦, sumelic, jimm101, curiousdannii, user140086 Feb 27 '16 at 4:20
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Consider insatiable [appetite].
always wanting more : not able to be satisfied (MW)
Impossible to satiate or satisfy: an insatiable appetite (TFD)
Most children like to eat but for some an insatiable appetite means they always want more, causing real problems for parents. (BBC)
The woman is insatiable. When the final whistle blows, she's eaten twenty-three sandwiches in ten minutes, setting a world record (Eat this Book)
[Children] may go through phases where they seem to eat relatively little or are insatiable. (Feeding the Under 5s)
There are lots of other answers here already, but none seems to have brought up the colorful folk idiom hollow leg.
Wiktionary glosses with some quotations, of which I here reproduce the first, which sufficiently illustrates how the expression is used (so-and-so has a hollow leg):
Capacity to eat large quantities
- 1998, Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees, page 228: When I was young and growing a lot, and Mama couldn't feed me enough, she used to say I had a hollow leg.
Urban Dictionary glosses:
Imaginary reservoir for one who overindulges in liquor, food, etc. without showing signs of effect.
"Voracious" derives from the Latin for devour (which also gives words like carnivore and omnivore).
(To me this seems like one of the less judgment-laden word choices.)
I think glutton comes close to what you are referring to:
- a person who eats and drinks excessively or voraciously.
- a person who eats or consumes immoderate amounts of food and drink.
The phrase bottomless pit is sometimes used, although the context would have to be already set for it to make sense.
Looking through this list of excellent answers, I don't see ravenous, which our friends at Dictionary.com define as
extremely hungry; famished; voracious: feeling ravenous after a hard day's work.
If I want to sound particularly erudite, I might try esurient, which is a Latinate word for pretty much the same thing.
In some parts of the UK, the term gannet is used, a reference to the North Atlantic bird known for supposedly eating large quantities of fish.
If you're looking for something classy, you might try gourmand, which is less insulting than some of the other options. The closest translation would be simply a "lover of food", which doesn't necessarily mean constant hunger, but usually that is implied. A gourmand probably has more expensive tastes than a mere glutton, however.
I would call him/her foodaholic which means:
a person having an excessive, often uncontrollable craving for food.
If you're looking for a completely over-the-top historical allusion, you might say that you're a regular Tarrare. Tarrare was a French soldier of the 18th century who suffered from polyphagia:
He was granted quadruple rations but remained hungry; he would scavenge for garbage in gutters and refuse containers, eat the scraps of food left by other patients, and creep into the apothecary's room to eat the poultices. Military surgeons could not understand his appetite.
If the story of Tarrare is too vivid for your use-case, insatiable would probably be about right.
Depending on context, consider:
A raging hunger or voracious appetite. Food & Nutrition
An abnormal and constant craving for food M-W
hyperorexia: an abnormal craving for food; a voracious and insatiable appetite. Ologies & -Isms