Do Me A Favor: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 14, 2023

The idiom "do me a favor" typically refers to a request for help or assistance from another person. It is appropriate in both formal and casual settings, and the requested favor can be minor or significant.

In short:

"Do me a favor" usually represents a plea or request for help or support from someone else.

What Does "Do Me a Favor" Mean?

The phrase suggests a direct appeal for assistance concerning a certain task or situation. For example, you might ask a friend to "do me a favor" by helping you move some furniture or request a coworker to "do me a favor" by covering a shift.

Let's explore its core meanings:

  • It commonly signifies a request for help or assistance.
  • It can denote a direct, sometimes informal, appeal to someone for support.
  • While it can be used in various contexts, the severity of the favor can differ based on the relationship between the parties involved.

Where Does "Do Me a Favor" Come From?

The term "do me a favor" has been used widely in English for centuries. It comes from the Latin word "favorem," which means "goodwill" or "kindness." The phrase came to signify a specific act of kindness or help done for another person.

Historical Example

"Now, see here, Phil, I want you to do me a favor - a very great favor - will you?"

- A Fool's Errand, Charles D. Gardette,1867

10 Examples of "Do Me a Favor" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • Can you do me a favor and send me the meeting notes when you get a chance?
  • Hey, could you do me a favor and pick up some milk on your way home?
  • I need you to do me a favor. Please don't leave me on read this time.
  • If you have time, could you do me a favor and help me clean up after the party?
  • She asked me to do her a favor by looking after her dog while she's out of town.
  • Could you do me a favor and shed some light on this confusing report?
  • Would you do me a favor and submit the application on my behalf?
  • Can you do me a favor and lend me that book when you're done reading it?
  • I was wondering if you could do me a favor and teach me how to cut a rug for the upcoming party.
  • Do me a favor; let's keep in touch while you're on vacation.

Examples of "Do Me a Favor" in Pop Culture

The phrase "do me a favor" often appears in pop culture, usually representing a character asking for help or assistance.

Let's examine some examples:

  • A quote from the book Actions, Reasons, and Reason by Marco Iorio and ‎Ralf Stoecker:
    "You do me a favor, and I do you a favor in turn. You publish a book in philosophy with big claims and little argument, and I write a scathing review."
  • A quote from The Girl with a Clock for a Heart: A Novel by Peter Swanson: "I'm in a little bit of trouble—not right this instant but in general—and I was hoping you could do me a favor."
  • In the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Nick Fury tells Tony Stark, "Do me a favor. Try not to bring it to life."

Other/Different Ways to Say "Do Me a Favor"

There are numerous alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "do me a favor."

Here are some of them:

  • Can you assist me with...
  • Could you help me...
  • I could use your help with...
  • Would you mind...
  • I'd appreciate it if you could...

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Do Me a Favor":

  • What does "do me a favor" mean?

"Do me a favor" usually signifies a request for assistance or help from another person.

  • How can I use "do me a favor" in a sentence?

You can use "do me a favor" when you are asking someone for help or assistance. For instance, "Could you do me a favor and send me the meeting notes?"

  • Where does the idiom "do me a favor" come from?

The term has been widely used in English for centuries, originating from the Latin word "favorem" meaning "good will" or "kindness."

  • Can "do me a favor" be used in formal contexts?

Yes, "do me a favor" can be used in both informal and formal contexts, though the nature of the favor might differ accordingly.

  • Does "do me a favor" always mean the person owes you one?

Not necessarily. The phrase "do me a favor" is a request for help, but it does not automatically imply an obligation for the person to return the favor. This depends on the relationship and context.

  • Can "do me a favor" be used sarcastically?

Yes, like many phrases, "do me a favor" can be used sarcastically, often to express annoyance or disbelief.

  • Is "do me a favor" considered polite?

Generally, "do me a favor" is considered polite, especially if prefaced with "could you" or "would you." However, tone and context are important.

  • Can "do me a favor" be demanding?

In some contexts, "do me a favor" can come off as demanding, especially if the tone is not polite or if the request is unreasonable.

  • Does "do me a favor" imply a certain level of closeness or familiarity?

While "do me a favor" can be used in any context, it often suggests a certain level of comfort or familiarity between two individuals.

  • Is there a cultural significance to "do me a favor" in different societies?

Yes, the interpretation and usage of "do me a favor" can vary across cultures. In some societies, doing someone a favor can create a sense of obligation, while in others, it's simply a part of cooperative behavior.

Final Thoughts About "Do Me a Favor"

The idiom "do me a favor" refers to a request for assistance or help from one person to another. It's a widely-used expression and can be found in various contexts, both formal and informal.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The phrase is a common way of asking for help or assistance.
  • It originated from the Latin word "favorem," meaning "goodwill" or "kindness."
  • Though typically polite, its perceived politeness can be affected by tone, context, and cultural interpretation.

As we use this phrase in our day-to-day lives, it's a reminder of the intrinsic ties that bind us together as social beings.

U.S Dictionary is the premier dictionary about the English language as used in the United States of America.
Copyright © 2023 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy