Posted by Smokey Stover on May 28, 2006
In Reply to: "You're welcome" posted by R. Berg on May 26, 2006
: : : "You're welcome" as a response to "Thank you."? What is the origin and meaning? I've read, "given freely", but where did "you're welcome" come from "given freely"?
: : Interesting question. I'm wondering if there is a book out there about manners and associated customs.
: The recipient is welcome to whatever is being given freely. That's the connection.
☺ Like Linda Smith, I, too, have noticed the apparent disconnect between the original meaning of "You're welcome" and its use as an answer to "Thanks." I have no new rationalizing interpretation, but I notice that the OED gives the first date in print of this use as 1907.
OED: " d. you are (or you're) welcome: a polite formula used in response to an expression of thanks.
[1907 W. W. JACOBS Short Cruises ii. 34 'Thank you,' said the girl, with a pleasant smile. 'You're quite welcome,' said the skipper.]" SS