whet one's appetite

Explanation: What is an idiom?

increase your anticipation for something.


"Where are you going on holiday this year?"

Well, I'm not sure. We were going to go to Spain as usual, but we saw an interesting programme on the telly that changed our minds."

"What programme was that, then?"

"It was called 'The world's wildest places' "

"Oh, one of those cable specials."

"That's right. This one came from Godthab, the capital of Greenland, so we're going there."

"Oh yeah."

"You know there's really loads to do in Greenland, cross-country skiing, the Northern Lights, glaciers..."

"Bear hunting."

"Oh very funny."

Iceberg watching."

Typical of you to-"

"Snowball fighting."

"I don't know why I bother."

"Well, I mean, Greenland!"

"You're not interested in joining us then."

"Well, you haven't exactly whetted my appetite, have you! Anyway, We're going on a 'wild adventure' ourselves this summer."

"Where's that?"


"Maccers-Barman, get me another drink here, for God's sake!"


To whet is a verb which I bet you've never seen before! Actually, if you asked most British people, they wouldn't be able to spell it properly. That's because it's an old-fashioned word which no longer exists in the language, except in this idiom. To whet originally meant to sharpen. So, to whet a knife meant to sharpen it. Your appetite doesn't have to be confined to food. You can have a large appetite for anything, really, beer, scenery, good literature, bad literature, sex, anything. Therefore, to whet your appetite means to sharpen your need of something, your anticipation of it or your desire for it.

Category: w,food

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