make one's mouth water

make (one's) mouth water

1. To cause one to salivate or feel hungry. Just the thought of having a big seafood dinner tonight makes my mouth water. The smell of the burgers on the grill made Jake's mouth water.
2. By extension, to cause one to feel happy or excited, usually with anticipation. A business opportunity like that is enough to make anyone's mouth water!
See also: make, mouth, water

make one's mouth water

Cause one to eagerly anticipate or long for something, as in Those travel folders about Nepal make my mouth water. This metaphoric term alludes to salivating when one anticipates food and has been used figuratively since the mid-1600s, whether it refers to food, as in The sight of that chocolate cake made her mouth water, or not.
See also: make, mouth, water

make one's mouth water, to

To make someone long for or desire something; to arouse eager anticipation. The term, which alludes to salivating in anticipation of food, transferred the phenomenon to other human desires early on. Richard Eden used the term in writing of cannibals anticipating their prey (The Decades of the New Worlde, 1555). By 1663, when Samuel Butler used it in Hudibras, the term was purely figurative, as it still is, even when it refers to food.
See also: make, mouth