de gustibus non est disputandum

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Origin uncertain; likely of non-classical origin. 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 19th century.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /deːˈɡus.ti.bus ˈnoː.nest dis.puˈtan.dum/, [d̪eːˈɡʊs̠t̪ɪbʊs̠ ˈnoːnɛs̠t̪ d̪ɪs̠pʊˈt̪än̪d̪ʊ̃ˑ]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /deˈɡus.ti.bus ˈno.nest dis.puˈtan.dum/, [d̪eˈɡust̪ibus ˈnɔːnest̪ d̪ispuˈt̪än̪d̪um]


gustibus nōn est disputandum

  1. there's no accounting for taste (lit. 'one shouldn't discuss tastes.')
    • 1584, Giuseppe Mascardi, Conclusiones omnium probationum, quae in utroque Foro quotidie versantur, Iudicibus, Advocatis, Causidicis, omnibus denique Iuris Pontoficii, Caesareique professoribus utiles, practicabiles, ac necessariae
      Et propterea de gustibus non est disputandum, eo quòd tot sint sententiae quot capita, ut est in proverbio.
      And therefore there is no debate about taste, because there are as many opinions as there are heads, as the proverb goes.
    • 1849, Franciscus Rothenflue, Institutiones philosophiae theoreticae in usum praelectionum, vol. I, page 117.
      [] id enim fieri debet ob variam sensuum dispositionem, et sub hoc respectu verissimum est: de gustibus non est disputandum.
      [] indeed, it ought to be possible, on account of the varied array of inclinations [that exist], and in this respect it is very true: there's no accounting for taste
    • 1856, Thomas ex Charmes, Theologia dogmatica, vol. I, page 178.
      Et cum tanta sit inter Protestantes in determinandis articulis fundamentalibus opinionum diversitas, utique redit et his tritum illud proverbium: De gustibus non est disputandum, quod in praxim misere deductum fuit: []
      And since the diversity of opinions among Protestants on determining the fundamental articles is so great, it certainly recalls that trite proverb: there's no accounting for taste, which was derived from unpleasant practical experience []
    • 1886, Julio Costa-Rossetti, Philosophia moralis seu Institutiones Ethicae et Juris naturae, page 122.
      [] morales controversiae gustu dirimi non possunt, nec per adagium: „de gustibus non est disputandum”, quod in moralibus absurdum est.
      [] moral debates cannot be ended with one's taste, nor with the adage: "there's no accounting for taste", which is absurd for morals.



    • 1919, Grænsevagten
      De nuværende Hovedtalere for Tyskland var netop dengang Bærerne af Tanken om at tilbyde England Protektoratet over Slesvig-Holsten. Naa, de gustibus non est disputandum.
      The current advocates for Germany were back then carriers of the idea of offering England the protectorate of Schleswig-Holstein. Ah well, de gustibus non est disputandum.
    • 1830, Jens Baggesen, Danske vaerker: Labyrinthen. 3. deel, page 363
      Maden, man opvarter med, vil jeg ikke tale om – de gustibus non est disputandum; men det, den koster, tilligemed alt det Øvrige, ...
      The food that is served up, I will not discuss - de gustibus non est disputandum; but the cost of it, along with all the other [things], ...
    • 1913, Filologisk-historiske samfund (Denmark), Johan Ludvig Heiberg, Geoffrey Chaucer, Uffe Birkedal, Studier fra sprog- og oldtidsforskning
      Omvendt siger man jo, at Smag og Behag er forskellig, og de gustibus non est disputandum ...
      On the other hand, one does say that taste and pleasure varies, and de gustibus non est disputandum ...
    • ??, Christian Kronman, På Skanderborg station: en biografisk rejse gennem Sophus Claussens ungdomsværk
      ... Troen er en Følelses Sag, og de gustibus non est disputandum.
      ... faith is a matter of feeling, and de gustibus non est disputandum.
    • 1935, Louis Leonor Hammerich, Indledning til tysk grammatik
      Til diskussioner om, hvorvidt tysk er smukkere end fransk, er kun at sige: »de gustibus non est disputandum«.
      To discussions of whether German is more beautiful than French, all there is to say is: "de gustibus non est disputandum".

Alternative forms[edit]