de gustibus non est disputandum

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Latin[edit]

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

Origin uncertain; likely of medieval (Scholastic) origin,[1] particularly due to the grammar. An alternative, more recent form: de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum ‎(There’s no arguing about tastes and colors.) originated in French literature in the early 1800s.

The sentiment behind the phrase is much older though. Plutarch reports that when Cæsar was dining at his friend Valerius Leo's in Milan, his host served up asparagus dressed in muron rather than olive oil. When his friends complained, Cæsar rebuked them:

‘ἢρκει γὰρ,’ ἔφη, ‘τὸ μὴ χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἀπαρέσκουσιν ὁ δὲ τὴν τοιαύτην ἀγροικίαν ἐξελέγχων αὐτός ἐστιν ἄγροικος.’
‘Surely,’ said [Cæsar], ‘it were enough not to eat what you don't like; but he who finds fault with ill-breeding like this is ill-bred himself.’ – Plut. Cæs. 17.6[2]

Phrase[edit]

de gustibus non est disputandum

  1. there's no accounting for taste.
    Literally, “There is not to be disputation concerning tastes.”
    • 1710, The life of Henry More - Richard Ward
      ... And when some Reasons were offer'd that such and such Acts in such and such Circumstances are and ought to be in all the Eternal Objects of Anger and Disgust; He reply'd De Gustibus non est disputandum (there is no Disputing concerning Tasts[sic])

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ de gustibus non est disputandum on Italian Wikipedia
  2. ^ http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2008.01.0130%3Achapter%3D17%3Asection%3D6