食わず嫌い (くわずぎらい, kuwazu girai) is an advanced Japanese idiom that literally means “to hate/dislike without eating”, and is often used to when you describe the food that you’ve never tried and don’t feel like eating. For instance, a lot of non-Japanese people do “kuwazu girai” (don’t like without eating) the traditional Japanese food “Natto” due to its nasty looks and obnoxious smell.
This idiom also figuratively means “to dislike or avoid something without knowing much about it”. For instance, it is “kuwazu girai” if you detest investing in stocks without ever trying or knowing much about it. People often say “食わず嫌いせずに”, meaning “Don’t dislike (something) without trying it”, to encourage someone to get rid of their stereotypes and try something that they are usually not fond of or familiar with. (See the third example sentence)
食わず嫌い consists of the two parts “食わず”, and “嫌い”. The former is one of the negative forms of “食う”, which means “eat” and is more casual than its equivalent word “食べる”. The latter word 嫌い means “dislike” or “hate”. Therefore, it literally means to dislike food without eating it.
Note that, in this expression, 嫌い reads “ぎらい (girai)”, which is different from the common reading “きらい (kirai)”. Usually, 嫌い reads “girai” when it is used as a suffix and put after another word. In this case, it means “anti-something person”, as in サッカー嫌い (soccer-girai) meaning “anti-soccer person”.
It is said that a lot of foreigners hate eating octopus without ever trying it, calling it “Devil Fish”.
A lot of elderly people avoid using the Internet and IT devices without knowing much about them.
Even if you do not like a love story, I recommend you watch this movie without disliking it before you watch it.
Synonyms in English: dislike something without knowing much about it; dislike food without having eaten it.
Related words and phrases: 食(く)う or 食(た)べる (eat), 嫌（きら）い (hate, dislike)
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