I know that to express gratitude or to thank are verbs that basically mean to say thank you, but what is the verb for the reciprocol action (i.e. saying you're welcome)?

Is there a word for this, and does it vary based on the response?
Like if I say thank you and you say go to H-E-double hockey sticks!. What did you do other than reply?

In short:

"Thank you" = to thank
"You're welcome" = to ???

  • "Go to H-E-double hockey sticks!"... Err, non-sequitur?
    – Noldorin
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 21:50
  • I guess he means the letter L. Double it, and you get the double hockey sticks. :-)
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 22:33
  • 1
    Ah yes, I think you're right. That was fairly obtuse. :) Surely 'hell' is an accepted word in this context within a quote.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 22:40
  • @Noldorin: It took me a while, before to understand what he meant. I I thought to a word starting with he that could follow go to. :-)
    – apaderno
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 23:01
  • "H-E-double hockey sticks" is a common minced oath for hell at least in the western US where I grew up, hell being considered a curse word when following "go to". Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 15:00

3 Answers 3


You could say that the other person is acknowledging the thanks when he says "you're welcome," and perhaps is rudely dismissing the thanks when he says "proceed to your choice of unpleasant venue and reside there indefinitely."

  • 2
    So, "to thank" and "to acknowlege thanks"? Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 23:36
  • Yes, I think that works fine.
    – Hellion
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 23:40

The reciprocal form would be to receive thanks.

  • One can receive thanks without doing or saying anything in reply, so this does not cover it.
    – Kosmonaut
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 22:47

Try unthank, as in “unthank upon the hand that tied him so” - Chaucer, the Miller’s Tale

  • Wonderful, thank you for the answer! I'm surprised people are voting you down, you even quoted Chaucer which is as English as it gets.
    – sova
    Commented May 26, 2021 at 22:18
  • but unthank means ungratefulness
    – Deipatrous
    Commented Aug 30, 2023 at 15:01

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