Word Geek – thank you

thank you

A word which many Brits love to say, this month Word geek investigates the “word” thank you. Most Brits will utter this polite phrase at least once a day. In the TLF office it is a frequent reply when someone “blesses you” for sneezing, as an expression of acknowledgment and gratitude.

Shortened from the phrase ‘I thank you’, ”thank you” has its origins in the Old English word “pancian” meaning “to give thanks”,  which dates back to about 9,000 years ago. This phrase itself derives from the proto-Germanic term “thankojan” which itself developed into the Middle German term “danken” which means “to thank”.

Saying thanks or thank you comes automatically to most British and American people and there are many equivalents in European languages. But did you know that some languages don’t have an equivalent for “thank you”? The Indian language Gujarati, for instance, doesn’t have a sole word that directly translates as “thank you” but you can show your appreciation through the tone of your voice.

If you’re looking to express thanks in a foreign language, our mother-tongue translators can make sure your communication hits the mark. Get in touch by emailing us at enquiries@thelanguagefactory.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1727 862722 to chat to a member of our friendly team. We promise we’ll thank you for getting in touch!


"I was very impressed with how quickly TLF could meet our short-turnaround timescale on our project. It meant that we could keep to our client's deadlines and the project could start on-time."

Managing Director Research Agency

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