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‘.