You're welcome

Discuss word origins and meanings.

You're welcome

Post by alugeanbeal » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:15 pm

Why do we respond to the comment "thank you" with "you're welcome"? Where did you're welcome originate from and what does it mean?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Angie Lugeanbeal

You're welcome

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Apr 07, 2005 4:47 pm

"You're welcome", is obviously a contraction of "You are welcome", which could be substituted for "It's a pleasure", "Don't mention it", "Not a problem" etc.

The word itself is pretty ancient, meaning, I'm pretty certain, that it is a pleasure to see someone arrive.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

You're welcome

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:20 am

Angie, If you’re still around, I would like to comment on your question.

Although the word WELCOME is a very old word (see welcome), the interjection dating from about 1200 and the adjective from 1525, the expression YOU’RE WELCOME in response to ‘thank you,’ relatively speaking, is spanking new. The OED’s earliest example is from 1907 and the American Heritage Dictionary dates its first use from about 1900. I found this hard to believe and in my first attempt at a literature search I did succeed in locating an older example but only from 1875, and I’m sure that with a little further effort that date could probably be pushed back a bit further. Nevertheless, just the fact that the expression probably first appeared sometime in the mid 19th century is surprising to me – I would have guessed it to be much older than that.

As far as why we respond to ‘thank you’ with YOU ARE WELCOME or YOU'RE WELCOME, I can only guess, since I was unable to find any information on its etymology. The expression ‘you are welcome,’ of course, did exist much earlier in the form, for example, “You are welcome to join me for supper.” This was a form of polite invitation and I suppose that continuing in, and in the spirit of, this vein of politeness, a response to ‘thank you’ became something like “Oh no. Don’t mention it. No thanks are needed. You are perfectly welcome to join me." And eventually the extra words were dropped and the expression got abbreviated to the polite formula of just YOU'RE WELCOME.
<1875 “‘. . . but you kin go right along, only slow, though—very slow. The rest o’ the road’s all right—no trouble.’ ‘Thank you.’ ‘YOU’RE WELCOME. But, I say, tell me—I’m out now about two weeks–what’s the news?’”—‘Big Jack Small’ in ‘Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine,’ Issue 5, May, page 447>

<1907 “‘Thank you,’ said the girl, with a pleasant smile. ‘YOU’RE QUITE WELCOME,’ said the skipper.”—‘Short Cruises’ by W. W. Jacobs, ii. page 34>

<1960 “The coloured lift attendant in South Carolina who had that attractive way of saying, almost singing, ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’ whenever we thanked her.”—‘Times,’ 14 September, page 12/7>

<1977 “‘Thanks,’ said Foxe . . . ‘YOU’RE WELCOME,’ said Dreiser.”—‘Walking Dead’ by P. Dickinson, I. iv. page 55>
(American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Oxford English Dictionary)
____________________

Ken G – April 20, 2005
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by russcable » Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:07 pm

While you're using your new-found god-like editorial prowess to change the name of this thread from "your welcome" to "you're welcome" (and deleting my post suggesting a Polari origin for 'drag'), you might fix your own typos. ;-)

"YOU ARE WELOCME" in advance.

BTW, if any of you are using Internet Explorer, the latest beta version of Google Toolbar http://toolbar.google.com/ can do spell-checking on web forms like this one and interactively suggests alternate spellings much like MS Word - very handy.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Apr 22, 2005 1:14 am

.. the overuse of the impersonal, formulated You're welcome can be graphed in Australia to the rise of that all-powerful American icon .. *gasp .. chuck* .. MucDonalds .. Aussies have always had phatic responses to Thank you such as It's OK, No Probs, 's alright, No worries but they were deliverd with a genuine feeling unlike the decreed formulation of You're welcome that is now sprouted by every waiter, shop assistant and trendy that you say Thank you to for something .. one wonders where it might end if you feel that you must reinforce that your thank you was genuine and their You're welcome was not necessary under the circumstances .. what IS the sociably acceptable responce to You're welcome ??? ..
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

You're welcome

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:06 am

I find that a sharp kick in the nuts usually sends an effective message. ;-)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

You're welcome

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Apr 22, 2005 3:51 am

Erik, A very effective response sure to get the recipients attention!

Russ, Thanks for the Google spell checker tip. I’ve installed it and for me it is a very useful feature. I usually write things up in word and then paste them into our site form and then sometimes add some forum code and am usually too lazy to go back and do another spell check, which would require another copy and paste – and thus WELOCME when I decided to capitalize it.

Don’t recall deleting your suggestion for a Polari origin for 'drag.' Deleting useful information is not one of things I am into with my new-found god-like editorial prowess. I thought the only god-like editorial prowess I have been exercising in current postings was correcting typos and any subsequent verbiage relating to them, and occasionally altering a title so that it will be more easily retrievable or understandable (e.g. ‘your welcome’). Of course, us gods are infallible – mostly, and errors will be made every century or so. If you feel that in the heat of my slashing and burning you had a ‘lucky day’ and a useful gem of yours was inadvertently excised (sorry about that) - we gods are wont to call such inadvertencies ‘collateral damage’ – please feel free to repost it. (&lt)

Ken – April 21, 2005
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:36 am

Ken, what will happen when, as seems inevitable, you cross swords with the Pope over some matter? Will that not be a case of the irresistible force (may it be with you) meeting an immovable object?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

You're welcome

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:45 am

Erik, I’ve heard some stories circulating that when 3 former Popes go to heaven including Benedict XVI they go in one by one for a meeting with God. The first comes out in tears crying that he had indeed erred and realized that mistakes had been made. The second comes out crying that he too now realizes his errors. After the meeting with the former Cardinal Ratzinger, God comes out in tears crying, "Oy vey! He was right!”

Ken – April 21, 2005
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by philip » Sat Jun 17, 2006 7:05 pm

I find that the use of "not a problem" as a reply to "thank you" has grown in the U.S. primarily amongst young people. I find it rude. I can live with "no problem" but much prefer "your welcome". To me "not a problem" implies that one may be a "problem". Am I the only one offended by this?
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: philip caso

You're welcome

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat Jun 17, 2006 7:29 pm

It IS offensive. Please, go to SOME trouble for me. De nada is a little better, though something would be better than nothing!
"You are welcome" acknowledges the value of that which was done, and says "you are worth it."
The "gods" and their minions in this thread are not religiously adequate.

what IS the sociably acceptable responce to You're welcome ???
"Thank you."
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:09 pm

philip said:

To me "not a problem" implies that one may be a "problem".
.. philip do you have a self esteem problem ?? or an ego problem ?? .. the statement of "not a problem" refers to the task that is being performed not being a problem not to you personally ..
gdwdwrkr said:

what IS the sociably acceptable responce to You're welcome ???
"Thank you."
.. and so then I have to say the insincere formulated You're welcome and you have to say Thank you and so I say You're welcome ... and you say .......... *boring* .......

.. can anybody explain why Thank you even needs a response ?? .. surely you do something for me I say Thank you .. end of story ..

WoZ of Aus 18/06/06
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

You're welcome

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:15 pm

You could, as I often do, say, "Oh no, thank YOU." (sometimes elaborated with "for the opportunity to serve you.") I understood Phillip to mean, "what I have done for you is not a problem", which is slightly tinged with "and if it had been, maybe I would not have done it."

Wiz, just respond to "thank you" with a hearty, "I heard that!"
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

You're welcome

Post by tony h » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:08 pm

Any chance it came as a translation from the German - it seems to have a parallel in the dake schoen, bitte schoen (e&oe) but I have insuffucient grasp to that Teutonic tongue to make an informed comment.

PS. just so that I can complete the mental image - I am trying to imagine which God Ken has become. Any suggestions? ^_^
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

You're welcome

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:18 pm

from
http://www.sacred-texts.com/atl/ataw/ataw403.htm

The Egyptians called him Thoth, and he was represented among them as "the god of letters, the clerk of the under-world," bearing a tablet, pen, and palm-branch.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Post Reply