Phrase: To whet your appetite

Phrase: To ‘Whet your appetite’ meaning to stimulate your appetite, usually used not only to refer to eating but an appetite for anything.

This phrase is sometimes confused with ‘wet my appetite’, which makes sense, as it could relate to the notion of salivating. It’s easy to imagine how the phrases could get confused as ‘whet’ isn’t a word we use anymore. However, the word was used in old English to refer to sharpening something, in fact, another word for a grindstone was a ‘whetsone’ and this would often be used to sharpen knives prior to a feast – this is how our phrase came about, as synonymous with preparations for a satisfying meal. Now we use it as preparing for anything, especially in a way that gets us interested.


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