To Each Their Own: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 16, 2023

The phrase "To each their own" is a testament to acknowledging individual differences and preferences. It encapsulates the idea that everyone has their own preferences, and what one person likes may not be what another person likes.

In short:

"To each, their own" underscores the respect for individual preferences and differences.

What Does "To Each Their Own" Mean?

"To each their own" is a well-established idiom in the English language, embodying the principle of individuality and personal preference. Over time, the idiom has seen several variations and related expressions, such as "each to their own" or "different strokes for different folks.

Before delving into its implications, let's break down its main components:

  • Subjectivity: The idiom highlights that opinions and preferences are inherently subjective and can vary widely from person to person.
  • Tolerance: Implicit in its usage is a sense of acceptance and tolerance for these differences.

Where Does "To Each Their Own" Come From?

The phrase "To each their own" originates from the Latin idiom "Suum cuique," which literally translates to "to each his own." This Latin maxim was used widely in Ancient Rome to encapsulate a legal principle of fairness and justice. In this context, it meant to give each person their due or what they deserve, emphasizing a balanced and equitable approach to law and justice. Over time, this maxim was adopted into English legal and moral philosophy, where it evolved into its current form, "To each their own."

Historical Example

“Suum cuique tribuere is the primary rule of justice.”

— Book 1, Moral Goodness, by Cicero, De Officiis,

10 Examples of "To Each Their Own" in Sentences

Below are ten examples illustrating different uses of "To each their own" in various contexts:

  • I find it strange that he enjoys watching horror movies but to each their own.
  • Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, people find solace in pursuing their own passions and interests; after all, to each their own.
  • Does he love pineapple on his pizza? Well, to each their own.
  • My cousin enjoys heavy metal music but to each their own.
  • After realizing the mistake, he acknowledged it. He decided to move forward, understanding that when it comes to personal preferences, to each their own.
  • She likes to read romantic novels but to each their own.
  • I don't understand his fascination with bugs but with each of their own.
  • In matters of the heart, love is blind, and to each their own when choosing a partner.
  • He spends his weekends bird-watching? Well, to each their own.
  • For God's sake, let's respect everyone's choices and opinions because, in the end, to each their own.

Examples of "To Each Their Own" in Pop Culture

The idiom "To each their own" has permeated pop culture, becoming a common expression in various media forms:

  • In the movie "The Dark Knight," Alfred says to Bruce Wayne, "Well, to each their own, Master Wayne."
  • "To Each, His Own" is a popular song by The Platters, released in 1959.
  • In the TV show "Friends," Chandler often uses the phrase to express his perplexity towards Joey's actions.
  • "To Each, His Own" is a 1946 film that won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • In the video game "The Sims 4," a description of a book reads: "To each their own, a tale of personal growth."
  • The idiom was mentioned in the song "His Truth Is Marching On" by Mike Doughty.
  • "To Each, His Own" is an episode title in the "Attack on Titan" anime series.
  • In the TV show "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon uses the idiom to emphasize his disregard for societal norms.

Other Ways to Say "To Each Their Own" in Sentences

Several alternative expressions convey a similar meaning to "To each their own."

Some of these include:

  • Everyone has their own taste.
  • Each person has their own preference.
  • Different strokes for different folks.
  • What suits one person may not suit another.
  • What's good for one person might not be good for another.
  • Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.
  • Each to his own.
  • It's a matter of personal preference.
  • What appeals to one person may not appeal to another.
  • One man's meat is another man's poison.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “To Each Their Own”:

  • What does “To each their own” mean?

The idiom "To each their own" means that everyone has their own personal preferences or tastes.

  • Where does the idiom “To each their own” come from?

The phrase originated from the Latin idiom "Suum cuique," used in ancient Rome.

  • How is the idiom used in a sentence?

The idiom is used to acknowledge and respect individual preferences, typically in response to a statement of preference.

  • Is the idiom used worldwide?

Yes, it's commonly used in English-speaking countries and has been translated into many other languages.

  • Is “To each their own” formal or informal?

The idiom can be used in both formal and informal contexts.

  • Can the idiom be used in written communication?

Yes, it's perfectly suitable for both spoken and written communication.

  • Does the idiom convey a positive or negative sentiment?

It typically conveys a neutral or slightly positive sentiment, emphasizing acceptance and tolerance.

  • Are there any popular songs or movies titled “To each their own”?

Yes, there are several songs and a 1946 film titled "To Each His Own."

  • Are there other idioms similar to “To each their own”?

Yes, similar idioms include "Different strokes for different folks" and "One man's meat is another man's poison."

  • Can the idiom be used sarcastically?

Yes, like many idioms, it can be used sarcastically to subtly critique someone's preference.

Final Thoughts About “To Each Their Own”

The phrase "To each their own" is a versatile idiom that carries a timeless message. It reminds us of the diversity in human preferences and underlines the importance of tolerance and acceptance. This idiom continues to be relevant and widely used in our everyday language.

  • Significance: The idiom highlights the importance of acknowledging and respecting individual differences and preferences.
  • Usage: It's used in both formal and informal contexts and has permeated popular culture.
  • Flexibility: There are several other ways to convey the same sentiment.

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