What Does There Is No Accounting For Taste Mean?

There’s No Accounting for Taste Meaning

Definition: Each to his or her own preference; personal preferences aren’t something that can be argued about.

A phrase with a similar meaning is different strokes for different folks.

Origin of There’s No Accounting for Taste

This English expression comes from an older Latin expression, De gustibus non est disputandum. Most sources place this older expression as originating during medieval times.

The expression originated as “there is no disputing about tastes” in the 16th century. It was changed to “accounting for” by the early 19th century.

The idea behind this is that it is impossible to be right or wrong about personal taste. For example, if one person likes cheese, and another doesn’t, it doesn’t mean that one of them is wrong and one is right. It simply means they have different taste in food.

This idea can be seen frequently with contemporary art. What one person considers genius art another person might think is trash.

Examples of There’s No Accounting for Taste

de gustibus non disputandum est In this conversation, a mother and daughter are looking online at prom dresses for the daughter to wear to her school’s formal dance.

Daughter: I love this dress!

Mother: Are you sure? Isn’t the color a little drab? You should choose something a little brighter and more fun.

Daughter: No, this one is perfect.

Mother: It seems a little too short as well. Are you sure you won’t reconsider?

Daughter: Nope. I’ve chosen this one.

Mother: Okay, if you say so. I suppose there’s no accounting for taste.

there is no accounting for taste latin In this example, two co-workers are discussing what toppings to put on the pizza they are ordering to share for lunch.

Dave: What toppings should we get? I like banana peppers with jalapeno.

Ben: Wow! That’s way too spicy for me. We should just get anchovies.

Dave: Gross! I hate anchovies. They’re disgusting.

Ben: No, they aren’t. Besides, there’s no accounting for taste. Let’s just do half the pizza with your toppings and half with mine.

Dave: Deal.

More Examples

This excerpt is about an opinion journalist who disagrees with someone else about the deceased actress Natalie Wood.

  • Well, I was bothered the other night when someone on television in announcing the upcoming showing of “Sex and the Single Girl” said “Tony Curtis falls for Natalie Wood. Well . . . there’s no accounting for taste.” –New York Daily News

This quote is from an article about the public’s reaction to a musical.

  • “First time I ever commented on a movie review — too bad you didn’t like the movie but there’s no accounting for taste. Three of us saw it Christmas Day at the Century in Evanston and all of us loved it. All female, one a senior, one in her forties and a teenage girl.” –Chicago Tribune


The expression there’s no accounting for taste is another way to say one cannot dispute personal opinions. In other words, taste is subjective rather than objective.