whet one’s appetite

whet one’s appetite

Meaning

  • A stimulation that causes you to want additional of something, mostly food.
  • A reason which increases your interest in something.

Example Sentences

  1. You have whetted my appetite to go for another theatre performance after making me watch this one.
  2. The advertisements shown are meant to whet your appetite to buy those products.

Origin
Tools in the olden days were used and sharpened on grindstones which were also known as whetstones. So the word whet in this phrase merely represents sharpening of something. This phrase is sometimes confused with ‘wet your whistle’ but the two are not actually connected. The whistle phrase is a lot older than the appetite phrase and means to have a drink. Whistle refers to the throat here.

In 1612, Thomas Dekker used the phrase ‘whet your appetite’ in ‘If it be not good, the diuel is in it’. Then in 1688, Thomas Shadwell used it in his literary work called ‘The Squire of Alsatia’ albeit in a varied form than it is seen today. ‘Whet’ which means to sharpen and ‘wet’ which is to dampen are different from each other when used as verbs but in many parts of the world the two words are interchangeable with regards to this phrase.

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