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“Thank you kindly” — Meaning, Usage & Context

“Thank you kindly” — Meaning, Usage & Context

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It’s quite interesting how we express gratitude at different levels. While “thank you” is our go-to expression, we sometimes stretch it out to “thank you kindly” as and when required.

This implies that there’s so much more to “thank you kindly” than what meets the eye.

Luckily enough, that’s what’s on our list today.

Why don’t we quickly go over the meaning of this phrase first?


What does “thank you kindly” mean?

“Thank you kindly” is an expression used to stretch the speaker or writer’s intended gratitude message. It could be understood as another way of saying “thank you from the bottom of my heart.” That said, it is most likely used to acknowledge a major favor to make others feel good.


“Thank you kindly” and its different purposes

A lot of things can be suggested by the use of “thank you kindly” – an expression more likely used in movies, novels, TV series, and other fiction-based contexts than in real life.

“Thank you kindly” is something one would say to exaggerate or emphasize an acknowledgement of another person’s positive behavior.


“Thank you kindly for the dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Hughes.”

Apart from the acknowledgment, the explicit use of “thank you kindly,” as opposed to “thank you,” is a way to express admiration to others to make them feel good.


“Thank you kindly, Victor. You really are the best.”

At other times, though, especially when done inappropriately, the use of “thank you kindly” can even become borderline sarcastic or ironic.


“Thank you kindly, ladies, but I’m already married. Better luck next time!”

On occasions, “thank you kindly” may also be deliberately used to strongly yet politely reject an offer instead of giving an apology.


“Thank you kindly, Mr. Wilson, but no, I can’t make it tonight. I have already made plans with my wife.”


“Thank you kindly”: Context, meaning, and implication

When we say “thank you kindly,” what we most likely want to convey is “thank you from the bottom of my heart” or “thank you very much for what you did.”

In business correspondence, “thank you kindly” may be considered as something like “I sincerely appreciate your time and effort.”

Many different ways to say “thank you” in the business world are actually practiced in email correspondence and speech.

These expressions are often polite to very polite in connotation because gratitude is one of the driving forces of business relationships.

“Thank you kindly” is an expression that attracts a lot of criticism because of its “whimsical” sense and “old-fashioned” structure.

However, this isn’t entirely true because the phrase can actually capture a very well-mannered undertone, which is necessary to create some effect.

In other words, using “thank you kindly” in appropriate contexts is key to creating that feel-good or comforting atmosphere.

In casual conversations, we also do this with our language use. One good example of this is when we use “thank youuu” instead of the usual “thank you.”

Sometimes, we even say “a huge thank you” if we feel obligated to pay more attention to how we express our gratitude to our friends and family members.

In a nutshell, “thank you kindly” is something that we had better use in formal contexts in order to avoid being tagged as pretentious.


“Thank you kindly” grammar in more detail

As mentioned, “thank you kindly” is likely to create an inflated or self-important feeling. This is because it uses a structure that is not that acceptable anymore.

“Kindly” is easily misunderstood as a misplaced adverb when in fact it isn’t. This happens every time “kindly” is interpreted as the same as “please.”

For example, we often use “kindly” instead of “please” when we want to do polite commands or in other words requests.


S: Kindly reach out for any concerns regarding my report. (“kindly” that means “please”)

However, in “thank you kindly,” the adverb “kindly” is used to suggest the meaning “in a kind manner” or “in a kind way.”

In terms of placement, most adverbs can go either before or after the verb in a sentence. This convention supports the idea that “thank you kindly” is a grammatically correct structure nonetheless.

Having said that, “thank you kindly” is actually used to say the following:


[I] thank you [in a kind way].

It is possible that the omitted pronoun “I” is also causing some confusion in “thank you kindly,” wherein the omission is done to make language use more concise and convenient.

An alternative way to look into the actual use of “kindly” in “thank you kindly” is to think that it either suggests “cordially,” “heartily,” “warmly,” or “pleasantly.”

If we think about it, using “thank you kindly” is even relatively less pretentious than saying “thank you cordially” or “thank you heartily.”

In sum, it can be noted that “thank you kindly” is considered a way to exaggerate the simpler “thank you.” Nevertheless, it is still a less highfalutin substitute to “thank you cordially.”


Related phrases to “thank you kindly”

Another reason for the confusion on “thank you kindly” is that there are some phrases that are related to it and are used in a closely-related way.

Here are some of them:


Would you kindly…

“Would you kindly…” is another polite way of requesting someone to do something. This expression is used in a question form.

Using “Would you kindly…” as a request opener is great when the request is quite huge and addressed to a close-knit person.

This is also a possible structure to use when asking a small favor from someone who is not necessarily close to us.


“Mom, my flight is at 3 am this weekend. Would you kindly drive me to the airport?”

As you can see, the “would you kindly…” opener is preferably used in the example above because the request is something that requires much effort to get done.


Can you kindly…

“Can you kindly…” is still used for polite requests, albeit for those less compromising ones. “Can” is a modal auxiliary verb that can be used to express abilities as well as issue requests.

This request opener is great for asking strangers to do something that is expected from them nevertheless, such as in public settings.

This phrase is also conveyed in question form, just like “Would you kindly…” to soften the blow of the request.


“Ma’am, can you kindly write your name in this form?”

In the example above, even if the action of writing is already expected, a politeness marker is still added to make the request less demanding.


Kindly explain x

“Kindly explain x” is also something we would use as a softening device, especially in business settings such as email correspondence.

As the intention is to ask for an “explanation” from someone, the idea is to also make the request less intimidating or threatening.

This one is used in a statement rather than question form. Constructing the request this way gives the message more authority.


Kindly explain why you decided to take action despite the risk.

In the example, there is a chance of indirectly offending the message receiver, who is understood to have done something risky, hence the politeness marker.


A kindly person

Meanwhile, “a kindly person” is a phrase that is different from the ones explained above. This is because “kindly” is used as an adjective rather than an adverb.

The adjective “kindly” is known to be a more formal and cheerful substitute for “kind.” This is used when we want to increase the prestige or honor of the person being described.


The kindly lady gave the weeping child some candy.

Pretty straightforward in its own right, the adjective “kindly” in the example above gives a more emphatic sense when compared to the word “kind.”


Alternative phrases to “thank you kindly”

Last but not least, let us also tackle some other alternative expressions to “thank you kindly” to make our mental bank more robust.


I really appreciate that.

A tried and tested good alternative for “thank you kindly” is “I really appreciate that.” With the presence of the pronoun “I,” the speaker’s sense of ownership gets amplified.

This is someone that can also be used after a major favor is done.


A: I understand your situation at home right now, Jane. So, please take some time off and fix whatever you need to get fixed.
B: I really appreciate that, sir.


Appreciate what you did, [name].

Taking a more personal approach than the previous phrase, the omission of the pronoun “I” and the addition of the message receiver’s name instead conveys a warm connotation.

This alternative can be used when someone gives us emotional or physical support, for instance.


A: Hey, I’ve already called your doctor. She’ll be here in less than an hour. Please hang in there.
B: Appreciate what you did, Val.


Thank you very much.

Simple and easily understood, “thank you very much” is also a great way to express gratitude. This expression is great for almost every situation that entails acknowledgment of others.


Dear Miss Nelly,
Thank you very much for your prompt response. I will comply with all of these requirements as soon as possible. I’ll email you again when I’m done or if I have any questions.
Kind regards,


My sincere thanks.

Warm yet simple at the same time, “my sincere thanks” is also another great way of conveying how much we appreciate others’ time, effort, and action.

The slightly formal connotation of this expression makes it suitable for written exchanges, such as letters and emails.


Dear Chester,


My sincere thanks to you and your family. I and my whole family earnestly thank you for your condolences and financial donations. You are indeed a blessing during this difficult time. Please continue to include us in your prayers.


Yours truly,




Warmest thanks

Friendly in tone, “warmest thanks” works for favors done by people who are close to our hearts, such as friends and relatives.

This short gratitude phrase also works very well in email writing scenarios.


Dear Suzy,


Warmest thanks to you for sending me a beautiful birthday gift. I really love the color that you chose, and it means you really know what I like. Thank you once again, and see you soon!






Thank you for the kind words

“Thank you for your kind words” also works both in formal message exchanges, especially when we want to highlight the gratitude toward what someone has said.

It works well both in speech and writing, as long as we really are genuine with the message we are conveying.


Dear Mr. Hathaway,


Thank you for your kind words, sir. You truly are one of my greatest mentors in life, and I sincerely appreciate everything you have taught me at school. I wouldn’t have completed my studies without your support.


Warm regards,




Frequently Asked Questions on “Thank You Kindly”


Is “thank you kindly” sarcastic?

“Thank you kindly” can come across as sarcastic when deliberately intended by the speaker or writer. This sarcastic usage is usually done for humor purposes, such as in “Thank you kindly, girls, but I’m already a dad and a husband.”


Do you need a comma after “thank you kindly”?

A comma comes after “thank you kindly” especially when a direct addressee’s name comes afterward, such as in “Thank you kindly, ma’am.” A comma may also come after it when an independent clause headed by a coordinating conjunction comes after it.


Can you use “thank you kindly” in an email?

As “thank you kindly” bears a formal connotation, it can be used in emails too. However, it is more effective in movie scripts, novels, magazines, and TV shows.



We may have the urge to overstep the line when expressing gratitude to others who have done us something big – “thank you kindly” is something that can achieve this effect.

As long as we are not using the phrase excessively in real life, we shouldn’t get in trouble for using a gratitude expression as trivial as “thank you kindly.”