Gratitude is a fine thing, and in honor of the one holiday that focuses on gratitude, let’s dip our toes into the etymology of the word thanks. It came to Old English through a heap of loosely related languages including Old Saxon, German, Old Norse, Danish, and Old Frisian. We can still see the relationship with the modern German word danke.
All these terms shared the simple meaning, to thank. What I find fascinating is that the Proto-Indo-European grandmother of all these gratitude-expressing words meant to think or to feel. This might suggest that one must be thinkful in order to be thankful. The flipside being that thinklessness causes thanklessness.
This post is intentionally brief, as I’m hoping you’ll take some time to indulge yourself in thinkfulness and thankfulness. If you are inspired to express gratitude about anything at all in the comments section, feel free.
(this is a slightly revised re-posting of a post I wrote in 2011)