Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854



A variety of forms serve as responses to thanks in Present-day English, albeit infrequently. Such responses minimize the debt incurred by the thanker and serve purposes of negative politeness. The history of responses to thanks has received only brief attention (Jacobsson 2002Jucker 2020Taavitsainen and Jucker 2020). Most of the contemporary responses to thanks (e.g., and ) are of quite recent origin. Those that “express pleasure” () appear in the late-nineteenth century, while those that express “verbal acknowledgment” () appear in the twentieth century. The increase of minimizing responses is consonant with a trend toward negative politeness, while the loss of the deferential forms found in Early Modern English () reflects the rise of camaraderie politeness. Responses to thanks have also undergone “attenuation” (Jucker 2019), evidenced by the appearance of short forms (), the rise of verbal acknowledgment types, and the increasing use of such responses as conversational closers.

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