why do we say "welcome" in response to " thank you"?

@murkie (1105)
Philippines
November 24, 2011 7:12am CST
we often hear somebody say "you're welcome" when we thank him/her.. or we are so accustomed to say it in response when we are thanked at. so, why say "welcome"? i used to think that welcome is supposed to mean as an invitation to let somebody enter. so, does that mean that when somebody thanks us, we would let that person enter somehow (i just don't have any iddea where)? is there anybody who has a theory (or an answer) to this? thanks!
2 people like this
12 responses
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
24 Nov 11
"You are welcome" is not an invitation to let somebody enter. It is the way you say to a person that you are glad to have her/him as a guest. As an extension to this, when somebody says "thank you" and you reply "you're welcome", this means you are glad to be able to help her/him. This is my theory, I am not a native English but I came to this theory by similarity to the Romanian expression for "you're welcome".
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
and what would that romanian expression be? anyway, so if i am glad to help a person, why wouldn't i just say welcome before/during/after helping him/her, rather than after being thanked at? i am really confused with this expression. it's no big deal, but for curiosity's sake we might as well just learn something new.
1 person likes this
@inu1711 (5288)
• Romania
26 Nov 11
In Romanian, the expression is similar: "you're welcome" can be translated as "esti binevenit" (though, "cu placere" - "with pleasure" - it is more used). The word "binevenit" is the literal translation of "well come"-welcome. We don't say "you're welcome" before/during/after helping others without them saying "thank you" first. It is a polite way to answer the "thank you" words. Don't you have a similar way of being polite in your native language?
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
27 Nov 11
well we do have several, and in countless dialects. but this discussion is not about WHAT those are. what i'm asking is that WHY do we say welcome. since you mentioned that it means you are glad to help him. that's why i suggested to say the word beforehand. could we look up the definition of the word WELCOME? now how did that end up as a response to thank you? that's what i'm wondering about.
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
30 Nov 11
Well, I always felt stupid for saying welcome after someone said thank you. I always say either, no problem or don't worry about it. Sometimes I say welcome. I never put much thought into it though. I guess it is either common protocol or habit.
1 person likes this
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
1 Dec 11
some things we just take for granted.. anyway, i thought i got what i'm looking for.. i hope you'd get it too.. thanks for the reply.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27713)
• United States
7 Dec 11
Well, I hope I get what I am looking for. And you're welcome.
• India
25 Nov 11
Welcome, It's just not a word that means to let enter somebody inside...many words have two or three meaning in response to the sentence and the statement.... Thanking somebody shows the respect and honour to the others, in repect of that others have to give respect and for doing that we welcome the respect and honour given by the person....means we welcome the respect and honour. So next time when you response to sombody's thanks, remember to accpet the repect and honour by saying WELCOME.....
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
i agree that any word would mean countless different things. but how come we ended up choosing "welcome" as response to "thank you"?
@cearn25 (3460)
• Philippines
24 Nov 11
I believe that we say "Your Welcome" after someone says "Thank You" to us because we don't doubt on helping that person. It is nice to hear someone thanking to you. It is also nice to respond back that the person is very welcome to anything which you can help.
1 person likes this
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
well, yes. but why welcome?
@boyuancy (1709)
• India
24 Nov 11
I wonder why. I mean I always say "It's alright" or "No problem" as opposed to "Welcome" as I think it is outdated. Also I do not understand the reason. This is on my tracker if you find an answer.
1 person likes this
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
some things we just take for granted, huh? hope we could get an answer so we all get to know why.
@nezavisima (7418)
• Bulgaria
24 Nov 11
I think it's just a habit. welcome thank you very much, and so on. this is one way to show that we are educated and do not show disrespect. even some not nice, we say we welcome you both. but it is difficult for me is a habit. Interesting discussion. nice day!
1 person likes this
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
yes, i agree it has become a habit. but what caused us to say it in the first place? i mean, it has to have started from something. anyway, thanks for the response.
• United States
30 Nov 11
yes i always ask this question to my friends but they don't ever know what to tell me lol i don't like saying your welcome but i just say it because everyone does.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov 11
yes i always ask this question to my friends but they don't ever know what to tell me lol i don't like saying your welcome but i just say it because everyone does.
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
1 Dec 11
well, read the earlier conversations on this discussion, then you'll come to realie same as i did..
@webzap (885)
• Philippines
25 Nov 11
I think by responding 'you are welcome' to 'thank you', means you are accepting deep in your heart his being thankful for anything that you have done to him.
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
good response. but why welcome when there are thousands of other words, as welcome already has a definition and purpose? that is, to mean come in.
25 Nov 11
hi Murkie , how are you .. ? 1st to say you ,your Question its really hard but i'll try me best to send you the right answer .. Hmm .. We thank you when someone says they have a problem we can solve.Welcome to our answered it for him though, so again if we get stuck in a problem we can take to help support her/her
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
hello zeesh! i think i get your point. it's really kinda confusing for me with all those varying responses. so i try to understand this one as muc as i could. we say welcome as an invitation that next time, that person that we helped could always come again. would that be it? i think i get the point, but i'm afraid i can't express it enough. thanks for the response. and welcome to mylot.
• Philippines
25 Nov 11
As a courtesy, we usually say welcome,once he/she say thank you in return,to a small favor, help or generosity extended to them,not merely an invitation for letting somebody in! it can also be a kindly greeting/courtesy for the arrival of a person or guest,as accepting with warm welcome!!!Welcome has a lot of meaning actually depending on the situation!!!
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
as far as i can remember, welcome originally was meant as an invitation. how it ended up being used as a response is what i'm asking. i agree it is an appropriate response. but my question is: why is that particular word being used? i don't contest that welcome means a hundred things. i am asking WHY is it used to reply to thank you?
@enelym001 (8333)
• Philippines
25 Nov 11
A lot of words have different meanings. Same as with the use of welcome when someone says thank you to us. We say it in response to 'thank you' because we are expressing that we appreciate their gratefulness to us. But I don't use that word often. I usually say 'Not a problem or No problem' or 'Don't mention it'...
@murkie (1105)
• Philippines
26 Nov 11
i think all those other words stemmed from the term welcome, somewhat a deviation to routine. but in the beginning, someone with authority in etiquette used the word welcome as a response to thank you. so, what was s/he thinking when s/he decided that it should be welcome that would be used for thank you?