What is the intimate nature of thanking / replying while speaking? Of course we do it all the day but I guess few are really aware of what is really going on under their words. I guess I have to explain with an italian comparison, since the english version of the replying isn't enough revealing. When saying "Grazie" / "Thank you" / "Thanks" etc. we are effectively saying: " (I pray because God gives you)THANKS" (that is: good things, things you could need), and this was a very common salutation/wishing form in the far past under Latins and Greeks, even if the "goddess" could be very different from what we are used to think of. And here comes the trick. In English you have: "You are welcome", that, even if it's kind, doesn't tell you all the truth. The older form, still remained in Italian, is "PREGO", which means "(I) PRAY (God for your kindness too). " - Prego = I pray Just to play with words.. Have you ever thought on what "Mediterranean Sea" means? Even if it's a latin derived word, I got it more clearly by seeing it in the German form "MITTELLANDER SEE" = "The sea which lies in the middle of the (known) lands"