Inquiring minds want to know is a reference to- and a common misspelling of an old slogan of The National Enquirer, originally written as “enquiring minds want to know”.
The phrase is expressing that the nature of a curious mind requires it to learn and know as much as possible.
The slogan appeared as the catchphrase associated with the conservative tabloid newspaper, The National Enquirer in the late 1970’s, with its original form being “enquiring minds want to know”.
Overtime, the alternative spelling of the word “enquiring” became more widely associated with the slogan, appearing as “inquiring minds want to know”.
Over time many people adopted the expression in a number of situations, making “inquiring minds want to know” a colloquial phrase.
“Inquiring minds want to know” in its current form outgrew the popularity of the original expression; “enquiring minds want to know”.
It was trademarked by the National Enquirer as “inquiring minds want to know” in 1987.
The phrase would also appear in a number of popular culture media, such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as well as the song of “Weird Al” Yankovic titled “Midnight Star”.