According to the Cambridge Dictionary, if someone has a sweet tooth, (s)he likes eating sweet foods and meals. So, what's the word for who is interested in salty ones?

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    it would be good if you could give a sample sentence of how you'd like to use the word (as the single-word-requests tag outlines) and what type of answer you're looking for: an idiomatic expression, a neologism, something invented here but that would be easily understood? etc. – anotherdave Nov 30 '17 at 11:20
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    A "heart attack waiting to happen"? – Don Branson Dec 1 '17 at 2:42
  • Please see this guidance from Stack Exchange Management about such questions. – tchrist Dec 2 '17 at 1:34

There are some usages of the expression “salt/y tooth” which does not appear to have become popular yet. Probably you can generally refer to this category of people as “salty food lovers”:

Oregano Can Satisfy Your "Salt Tooth" (Time.com)

Yes, There Is Such A Thing As A ‘Salt Tooth’ (Huffinton Post)

Salty tooth (UD)

“Salt tooth” is a real thing, and we feel so validated” (hellogiggles.com)

Do You Have A Salt Tooth? (naturalon.com)


There is some evidence for the use of 'savoury tooth', which is often used in contrast to 'sweet tooth' as it is a clearly parallel formation.

'Savoury tooth' and 'savory tooth' combined turn up about 280k Google results, but I can't get either to show up in an ngram.

As a general observation the Google results seem to show a bias towards magazine articles, blogs and other social media. 'Savoury tooth' also turns up a company making savoury protein bars.

My take from this would be that 'savo(u)ry tooth' is a phrase that people will understand, and that they use, but is often used in direct contrast to 'sweet tooth' and probably gets invented anew when people are casting about for a term.

Afterthought: It occurs to me that I have, possibly in a noticeably British way, defaulted to the use of 'savoury' as an antonym of 'sweet' and answered in that vein. However, @Eilia was very specific in using 'salty', so I may have veered off track with this answer.

I've always been a bit foggy on the distinction between 'salty' and 'savoury' since I cannot imagine a savoury flavour that does not have a salt element and possibly I think of savouriness as an assemblage of flavours rather than a distinct category.

In poking around the subject I found this wordforums discussion which suggested that British people tend to refer to things as 'savoury' where US English speakers would use 'salty'. Which would explain why US You Tubers' first reaction to Marmite is always to say 'it smells so salty', when I think Marmite smells of savoury/umami goodness, whereas salt doesn't smell (is that just me?)


Stitching together a few Greek roots is often enough to coin terms people in medical and biological professions are likely to be able to interpret: "halophile". It turns out that Halophile is an actual biological term for organisms thriving in salty environments. For a tongue-in-cheek pseudo-learned expression this should still (or even particularly well so) serve reasonably well.

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    Unfortunately, someone encountering that word is likely to think it means a fan of the HALO game or perhaps of Charlie's Angels or The Los Angeles Angels. But +1 for the effort. – Monty Harder Nov 30 '17 at 18:24
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    I snickered right away, but then, I'm a biologist. :) – Jenn D. Dec 1 '17 at 7:51

Two words ("sweet tooth" also has two words) for someone who craves salt in their diet, they are a
1) "salt addict" or 2) "salt junkie"

The terms addict and junkie are listed in dictionaries, extremely common and easily understood, and used in a myriad of combinations.

If the OP really wants a single word, I googled and found salt-aholic or saltaholic, the latter is a newly submitted word in the Collins Dictionary which is awaiting approval, which kinda tells us it's a term not commonly heard or used.

Google Ngram shows results only for the last two expressions in the following list: savory tooth, savoury tooth, salt tooth, salt junkie, salt addict (blue line), sugar addict (red line).

enter image description here

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    'salt addict' is a good companion phrase to 'sugar addict', but I wouldn't necessarily call someone with 'sweet tooth' a 'sugar addict'. 'Addiction' and 'Craving' conjure a more intense preference than the words used in the question, ''likes' and 'interested in'. – Spagirl Nov 30 '17 at 13:40
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    I have also heard salt fiend and a regular Google search shows examples of its usage, though it doesn't seem to register as an ngram. Of course, fiend can be used as a synonym for addict and also fanatic, so this makes sense. – Nate Eldredge Nov 30 '17 at 14:14
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    I would be confused if someone meant to say a person liked savoury foods and described them as being a salt addict. I would take salt addict to mean they always overused the salt shaker at their meals. Even moreso for salt fiend – Jim Nov 30 '17 at 14:57
  • @Jim: The question is and always has been specifically asking for someone that likes salty food, not just savoury in general. IDK how @ Spagirl's "savoury tooth" answer got so highly voted, because it's clearly wrong, for exactly the reason you point out! – Peter Cordes Dec 1 '17 at 8:47
  • @NateEldredge: I like "salt fiend". It's clearly somewhat negative, but not in the way "addict" is. Post as an answer? – Peter Cordes Dec 1 '17 at 8:49


Taken from the CNN Health article Love salt? You might be a 'supertaster'

If you love salty snacks and reach for the saltshaker like clockwork at every meal, you might think you have dull or underpowered taste buds that need a boost to get excited.

In fact, just the opposite may be true: A new study suggests that you may love salt because you're a "supertaster" -- a person who experiences tastes such as saltiness and bitterness more intensely than other people do.

The article goes on to say:

Hayes and his colleagues were surprised to discover that the supertasters liked more salt rather than less, even though they were more sensitive to it.


For instance, salt helps cancel out bitterness, one of the sensations that supertasters experience in Technicolor. This may explain why the supertasters in the study perceived the low-sodium cheddar cheese to be twice as bitter as the Cracker Barrel, and liked it far less than the other study participants did.

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    Isn't this more of a tangentially related, if fascinating, side note than an answer? – Spagirl Nov 30 '17 at 10:08
  • @Spagirl I wouldn't say so spagirl. The question asked for a word to describe a 'great liking of salt-tasing foods' similar to how 'sweet tooth[ed]' describes liking sweets; supertasters, have a great liking for salt-tasting foods, and a proclivity to enjoy salt in food, is the key distinguishing feature of a supertaster. – Gary Nov 30 '17 at 10:34
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    I don't dispute that supertasters like salt, but there was nothing in the article to indicate that only supertasters like salt and I didn't see anything that identified it as their key distinguishing feature, after all researchers have know that supertasters exist for ages, but were surprised by the salt results. But in specific reference to the question, I think its the difference between a definitional term and not eg, a distinguishing feature of the Jain religion is vegetarianism, but not all vegetarians are Jain. The definitional term for non-meat eaters is 'vegetarian', not Jain. – Spagirl Nov 30 '17 at 11:01
  • Guess it depends on how someone would use the word: if you said to me "I'm a supertaster" and I hadn't read the article, I wouldn't have a clue what you meant (e.g. compared with a well-known phrase like 'sweet tooth') – anotherdave Nov 30 '17 at 11:22
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    Haha how ironic the saltyness of the saltconsultants in this fred. – mathreadler Nov 30 '17 at 20:34

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