thank you

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See also: thankyou and thank-you


A “thank you” sign being held up at a conference in Taiwan in 2014


A shortened expression for I thank you.



thank you

  1. An expression of gratitude or politeness in response to something done or given. [from c. 1400]
    Thank you!” said the girl after her mom gave her a gift.
    • 1711, attributed to John Fletcher, “Bonduca, a Tragedy”, in The Works of Mr. Francis Beaumont, and Mr. John Fletcher, volume IV, London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, at Shakespear's Head over-against Catherine-street in the Strand, OCLC 642500453, Act I, scene ii, page 2194:
      Jun[ius] [] The General has new Wine, new come over. / He muſt have new Acquaintance for it too, / For I will none, I thank ye. / Pet[ilus] None, I thank ye? / A short and touchy answer. None, I thank ye: / Ye do not scorn it, do ye?
    • 1826 April 22, “G.”, “The Dukedom (from ‘The News of Literature and Fashion, Science and Art.’)”, in The Spirit of the Times; or, Essence of the Periodicals; Concentrating Every Week, All that is Worthy (as Strictly Regarding the Time) of Being Preserved, from the Whole of Our Newspapers, Magazines, &c., volume I, number XXIX, London: Printed by Milne, Banfield, and Duckworth [...] for J. Scott, OCLC 68226152, page 436, column 1:
      I had some faint recollection of having a penny-piece in my waistcoat pocket, and, pleased with the service he had rendered to us, I gave it him as his guerdon. "Thank ye, sir—thank ye, sir—thank ye, sir," he cried, and immediately returned to his station near the footway.
    • 1925 May 14, Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, OCLC 1816789:
      "But, thank you, Lucy, oh, thank you," said Mrs. Dalloway, and thank you, thank you, she went on saying (sitting down on the sofa with her dress over her knees, her scissors, her silks), thank you, thank you, she went on saying in gratitude to her servants generally for helping her to be like this, to be what she wanted, gentle, generous-hearted.
    • 1977 December 12, Benny Andersson; Björn Ulvaeus (lyrics and music), “Thank You for the Music”, in ABBA: The Album, performed by ABBA:
      Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing / Thanks for all the joy they're bringing / Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty / What would life be? / Without a song or a dance what are we? / So I say thank you for the music / For giving it to me
    • 2002, Bill Boyd, “Striking a Deal”, in Stepdaddy: A Creative Memoir, Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, →ISBN, page 96:
      Thank ya, ma'am, thank ya, thank ya, thank ya. He's a good dog. He likes ever'body. He won' be no bother. Thank ya, ma'am, thank ya, thank ya.
    • 2007, “Thank You”, in Thank You: One of Seventeen Rules …: Wonderful for Men and Women of All Ages, [Philadelphia, Pa.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 19:
      Always say "thank you." When in doubt, say "thank you." Say "thank you" even if you think it is not necessary in the circumstances. Whether the recipient thinks it is or is not, it will be appreciated and remembered. It is impossible to say "thank you" too often!
    • 2014 February, Colin McEvoy; Lynn Olanoff, chapter 13, in Fatal Jealousy: The True Story of a Doomed Romance, a Singular Obsession, and a Quadruple Murder (St. Martin's True Crime Library), New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Paperbacks, →ISBN, page 136:
      His return text came about an hour later. "I Love you … For all the right reasons," he wrote. "And I'm glad 2 know u feel the true love u have 4 me again … Thank u!! You make me feel like i really am superman!!"
    • 2014, Roy Williams, Kingston 14, London; New York, N.Y.: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, →ISBN, Act II, page 71:
      Adrian Shush. / Carl Thank yu. / Adrian Fer what? / Carl Fer staying. / Adrian Man tell mi to. Nuh thank mi. But you must shush.
    • 2015, Amy Andrews, Limbo, Sydney, N.S.W.: Escape Publishing, →ISBN:
      ‘No, come in,’ he said. ‘Martin, right? Have a seat.’ [] Thank you, no, I won’t.’ He moved inside a little more.

Alternative forms[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Can also be used in response to an offer not accepted, as if standing for no thank you. For example, someone offered a bowl full of strawberries after having already eaten a hearty meal might respond with I'm full, thank you.



  • Chinese: 三Q (sān kiù)
  • Japanese: サンキュー (sankyū)
  • Malayalam: താങ്ക്യൂ (tāṅkyū)



thank you (plural thank yous)

  1. Alternative spelling of thank-you.

Further reading[edit]

  • Jennifer Runner (14 August 2016), “‘Thank you’ in more than 465 languages”, in Jennifer's Language Pages – Greetings in More Than 3000 Languages[1], archived from the original on 21 October 2016.