Word Nerd Wednesday – Thank You


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! Today’s Word Nerd post is inspired by you. 🙂

“Thank you.” It’s a phrase we use multiple times every day, from the ingrained automatic response when we’re handed our change at the shop, to the overwhelming attempt at expressing deeply felt gratitude when mere words feel so inadequate. But have you ever stopped to wonder how the expression came about? I hadn’t until this morning! 🙂

I turns out that the word thank is related to think in a similar way that song is to sing. Thank originally meant ‘a thought’. You sing a song, and you think a thank! By the Middle Ages, the definition had narrowed to mean a thought of goodwill or gratitude, and so “I thank you” (of which ‘thank you’ is a shortened form) literally meant “I will think of you with goodwill” or “I will remember what you did for me.”

How well that describes the heart of Thanksgiving! Well, to this uninitiated Australian, anyway. 🙂

We may not celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my readers and all the cherished friends I have gained since I started this blog. I will be thinking of you all with goodwill over this Thanksgiving holiday. ❤

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read ‘How We Got “Please” and “Thank you”‘ and ‘Ta, Cheers, Much Obliged: A Brief History of “Thanks” in English‘.

PS – apologies for neglecting to inform you all last week that the correct definition of ostrobogulous was (D) bizzare, interesting, or unusual. Everyone guessed correctly, so I obviously have very intelligent readers! 😉

free clipart of happy thanksgiving

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
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3 Responses to Word Nerd Wednesday – Thank You

  1. Amy M says:

    Very interesting. I noticed when I read Tamara Leigh’s medieval novels, the phrase “I thank you” is used often. Your revelation of the origin of the phrase was very interesting.

    I have recently started reading your blog and enjoy not only the books you review and author interviews, but also neat things like Word Nerd Wednesday and Top Ten Tuesdays. Our tastes in books seem to parallel and it’s nice to get your take on ones I’ve read or try some that are new to me, and for that I thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Weekend Book Buzz – 25/26 November 2017 | Fiction Aficionado

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