Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 23, 2023

"Don't knock it til you've tried it" is a common English expression that means one should not criticize or judge something without personal experience. It implies that one might be surprised or impressed by something that seems unappealing or strange at first glance.

In short:

  • It is an idiom that means one should not criticize or judge something without trying it first.
  • It suggests that one might discover something positive or valuable in something that appears negative or worthless.
  • It is often used as friendly advice or a playful challenge to persuade someone to try something new or different.

What Does "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It" Mean?

The idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" means: do not criticize or judge something you have not personally tried or experienced. It conveys that one should be open-minded and adventurous and not dismiss something based on superficial impressions or prejudices. On the other hand, it also implies that one might find something positive or valuable in something that seems negative or worthless.

Where Does "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It" Come From?

The origin and history of the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" are unclear, but some sources suggest that it dates back to the early 20th century in America. In addition, it seems to have become popular in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in music and entertainment.

Historical Example

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest recorded use of the word "knock" in the sense of "to criticize" is from 1916, in a slang dictionary by Albert Barrère and Charles G. Leland:

"Knock, To abuse; to find fault with; to disparage; to run down."

10 Examples of "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" in various sentences, demonstrating different contexts and situations:

  • Oh, snap. Why don't you like sushi? Don't knock it til you've tried it. It's delicious and healthy!
  • I don't care what you say. Classical music is good! Don't knock til you've tried it.
  • I feel that this movie is worth the watch. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. It's mind-twisting.
  • Don't knock it til you've tried it. This book is a best-seller. Take your time reading it, and you will see its value.
  • From my perspective, camping is fun and adventurous. Don't knock it til you've tried it.
  • Quite frankly, yoga is easy and fast. Don't knock it til you've tried it. It's also good for the health.
  • For your sake, don't knock it til you've tried it. Pineapple in pizza is delicious.
  • Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. Meditation can relieve stress. You should give it a shot.
  • Learning a new language is not complicated and time-consuming. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. It's rewarding and fun!
  • You go, girl! Skydiving isn't scary and dangerous. Don't knock it til you've tried it. It's thrilling and safe.

Examples of "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It" in Pop Culture

The idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" has been used in various forms of popular culture, such as movies, TV shows, songs, books, and comics.

Here are some examples of how this expression has been featured or referenced in pop culture:

  • In the song "Don't Knock It (Till You Try It)" by Bobby Byrd, a funk and soul singer, and songwriter, the chorus goes: "Don't knock it till you try it. Don't knock it till you try it. Don't knock it till you try it. You might like it."
  • In the movie "Shrek" (2001), the ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) mentioned the expression to his friend Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy).
  • In the TV show "Friends" (1994-2004), in the episode "The One with the Embryos" (season 4, episode 12), the character Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) says the phrase to her brother Frank Jr. (played by Giovanni Ribisi).

Other Ways to Say "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It"

There are some different ways to say "don't knock it til you've tried it" that convey similar meanings or messages.

Here are some of them:

  • Give it a shot
  • Give it a go
  • Have a go at it
  • Have a try at it
  • Have a taste of it
  • Have an open mind about it
  • Be adventurous about it
  • Be curious about it
  • Be willing to try new things
  • Be flexible about it

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It"

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it":

"Don't knock it til you've tried it" means one should not criticize or judge something without trying it first.

  • What is the origin of "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

The origin and history of the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" are unclear, but some sources suggest that it dates back to the early 20th century in America.

  • What are some synonyms for "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

Some synonyms for "don't knock it til you've tried it" are "give it a shot", "give it a go", "have an open mind about it", "be willing to try new things."

  • How do I correctly use the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

To use this idiom correctly, you must know its meaning, context, and tone. You must also ensure that this idiom fits the situation and the audience. It would help to use the correct grammar and punctuation when using this idiom in a sentence.

  • What are some situations where I can use the phrase "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

When you want to persuade someone to try something new or different that they might like or benefit from, when you want to challenge someone to try something that they are afraid or skeptical of, when you want to defend or promote something that you like or believe in that others might not understand or appreciate, and when you want to express your curiosity or adventurousness about something that others might find strange or unappealing.

  • What are some cases where I should not use the word "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

When you want to discourage someone from trying something that is harmful, dangerous, illegal, immoral, or unethical; when you want to respect someone's preferences, choices, opinions, or beliefs that are different from yours; when you want to be polite, respectful, or diplomatic with someone who might be offended or annoyed by your suggestion or comment; and when you want to be serious, factual, or logical with someone who might not appreciate your humor or sarcasm.

  • How do you say other variations of the idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" in different languages?

Spanish: No digas de esta agua no beberé

French: Il ne faut pas dire fontaine je ne boirai pas de ton eau

German: Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben

Italian: Non dire gatto se non l'hai nel sacco

  • What are some common mistakes when using the expression "don't knock it til you've tried it"?

Common mistakes when using this idiom are: Using the wrong preposition, using the wrong verb tense, using the wrong word order, and using the incorrect spelling.

  • How can I remember this idiom?

To remember this idiom, you can use some mnemonic devices, such as rhyme, acronym, or image.

  • What are some variations and related terms of this idiom?

Some variations are: Don't knock it before you try it, don't knock it if you haven't tried it, don't judge a book by its cover, don't yuck someone else's yum, and you never know until you try.

Final Thoughts About "Don't Knock It Til You've Tried It"

The idiom "don't knock it til you've tried it" is a valuable and versatile expression that can help us be more open-minded and adventurous. It can also allow us to avoid being too quick to judge or criticize something we have not experienced or understood.

Here are some key points to remember about the meaning of this idiom:

  • "Don't knock it til you've tried it" means not criticizing or judging something without trying it first.
  • It suggests that one might find something positive or valuable in something that seems negative or worthless.
  • It is often used as friendly advice or a playful challenge to persuade someone to try something new or different.
  • It has some synonyms and antonyms that can express similar or opposite messages.
  • It has some equivalents in other languages with similar meanings or messages.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Copyright © 2024 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy
magnifier