Did someone say to you, ‘thanks heaps,’ and you’re wondering what it means? In this article, we’ll take a look at the meaning, origin, examples, and more.
‘Thanks heaps’ is one of the many ways that you can express a lot of gratitude in English. It is similar in meaning to ‘thanks a lot’ or ‘thanks a million.’
‘Thanks heaps’ is an informal way to express a lot of gratitude to another person for something.
You might also hear someone say ‘thanks a heap,’ which is simply a slightly different way to convey the same notion.
The definition of the word ‘thanks’ is “an expression of gratitude.” It is another way to say “thank you.” The informal definition of ‘heaps’ that is implied in this phrase is “a large amount or number of.”
Basically, when someone says ‘thanks heaps,’ they are expressing a great deal of thanks and gratitude.
Since this is a casual phrase, you wouldn’t want to use it in formal communications. It is a perfectly suitable way to tell a friend that you are grateful, though or anyone else that you feel comfortable speaking to in a more informal way.
The word ‘thanks’ comes from the mid-thirteenth century, stemming from the Old English word þanc.
'Heap' is also of Old English origin, originally meaning “great number, crowd, multitude (of persons); pile (of things).”
Using the Google Books Ngram Viewer, we see that 'thanks heaps' has been used in publications since the early 1900s. It had an initial peak in usage around the Second World War before decreasing in usage for several decades. Around the year 2000, it became increasingly popular before declining a bit starting around 2012.
In a 1927 book by Mary E. Clark and Margery Closey Quigley called Etiquette, Jr., we see that the phrase ‘thanks heaps’ is, in their view, practically cliche and shouldn’t be used when writing thank you letters:
“In every case the language used must be simple and clear and without gush. “Perfectly darling,” “Too sweet of you!” “Thanks heaps and heaps” are phrases which should be thrown in the scrap basket before one writes a sentence. “Grateful,” “generous,” “I sincerely appreciate,” “shall treasure it,” on the other hand, are stiff and inaccurate, and have no place in the personal letter of thanks.”
In a letter from 1883 written to Phillips Brooks, the writer does not appear to agree with Clark and Quigley about the appropriateness of ‘thanks heaps’ in a thank you letter:
“Dear Good Phillips, Thanks, heaps upon heaps of thanks, for remembering such an old fogy upon his birthday! Surely you have given such evidences of your love and affection that this beautiful etching was unnecessary; but as you have sent it I have given it the most conspicuous place in my study, and whenever I shall look at it, I shall be reminded of your generous heart, and of the many years we have known each other, the happiness we have experienced, and never a ripple of discord between us.”
In a segment called “A Modern Girl’s Letter to a Beau” in a 1926 issue of Life magazine, we see another example of this phrase in use:
“Thanks loads for the cigarettes– the trouble is now I can’t smoke any kind but Yale Clubs– how do you suppose I can get them? Thanks heaps for the candy. You know they make it in five-pound boxes, too. You were simply darling to send the flowers– I wore them to a marvelous dance last night that I went to with Mr. Carstairs and he was simply dying to know all evening who sent them to me but of course I wouldn’t tell him.”
How would 'thanks heaps' be used in a sentence?
Let’s take a look at some examples:
What are some other phrases that have a similar meaning to 'thanks heaps'?
Here are some options:
‘Thanks heaps’ is one of the many ways that you can express a great deal of gratitude to another person for something that they’ve done for you. It is similar in meaning to ‘thanks a bunch,’ ‘thanks a million,’ and ‘thanks a lot.’
This is a nice, casual way to tell someone that you are grateful for something they’ve done. Because it is an informal phrase, it isn’t ideal for use in formal emails or business interactions. However, it is perfectly suitable when you are thanking a friend, family member, or another person you have a more informal relationship with.
Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Be sure to check out our idioms blog for idioms, expressions, sayings, and more!
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