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Word for Wednesday: Thank You

Thanksgiving and similarly-named festivals are celebrated in various countries to give thanks for the harvest and the blessings of the previous year. The date of the celebration changes from country to country and from year to year, and tomorrow – as the fourth Thursday of November – marks the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States of America. 

In America, Thanksgiving celebrations are the beginning of the festive period leading up to Christmas. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated by sharing a large turkey dinner with friends or family, with each person reflecting in turn on what they are thankful for. There are often parades in large cities. 

The phrase thank you has been used as an exclamation in English to acknowledge a favour since around 1400. It was initially a shortening of the phase ‘I thank you’. People have been referring to the noun ‘a thank you’ since 1792.

Thank comes from the Old English ‘þancian’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘thankōjanan’, from ‘thankoz’ meaning ‘thought, gratitude’, from the PIE-root ‘tong' meaning ‘to think, feel’.  

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving or another similar festival? We wish all our readers a restful holiday period. 

27 Nov 2019
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