Thanks Heaps: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
June 28, 2023

Gratitude is a universal human emotion expressed in countless ways across different cultures and languages. One such expression is the idiom "Thanks Heaps", which might seem quite quirky and unique to the uninitiated. This phrase, with its origins in Australasian English, has now found its way into common parlance worldwide.

In short:

"Thanks, Heaps" is an idiom that is an informal way of saying "thank you very much" or "thanks a lot".

What Does "Thanks Heaps" Mean?

This idiomatic expression is a colloquial way of expressing profound gratitude. Its usage is more prevalent in casual conversation and is often used to express sincere appreciation. The phrase can be seen as an intensifier to the simple "thanks," with "heaps" acting as a synonym for a lot."

  • The word 'heaps' is used to imply a large amount or many. Therefore, when you say "Thanks Heaps," you're essentially saying "Thanks a lot" or "Thank you very much."
  • Although it's a casual phrase, it can be used in a variety of situations, from everyday conversations to written communications, though less often in formal or professional settings.
  • While it's most commonly heard in Australia and New Zealand, the phrase has gained popularity in other English-speaking countries too.

Understanding this phrase's meaning is straightforward, especially when considering its usage and context. Its key feature is its versatility - it can be used in various situations where one needs to express gratitude.

Where Does "Thanks Heaps" Come From?

"Thanks, heaps" is an idiom primarily used in Australia and New Zealand. The phrase was born out of the usage of the term "heaps" in Australasian English, which is used to denote a large amount or, to a great extent, similar to "lots" or "a ton" in other variants of English. It's essentially an informal way to express "thank you very much" or "thanks a lot."

Historical Example

"Thanks heaps, Big Al..."

- "Now and Then" by Jacqueline Sheehan (2010)

10 Examples of "Thanks Heaps" in Sentences

Here are a few examples that demonstrate the use of "Thanks Heaps" in various contexts:

  • Thanks heaps, for all your hard work while I was away, and welcome back to the team; we’ve really missed you.
  • Just wanted to say thanks heaps for the gift. It was exactly what I wanted!
  • Thanks heaps, for all your help with the project. I’m really looking forward to when we can see you again and collaborate on another task.
  • Thanks, heaps, mate! I owe you one.
  • Thanks heaps for your thoughtful advice, and from my point of view, it will greatly assist in resolving the issue.
  • I received the parcel today. Thanks, heaps, for sending it so quickly.
  • You've been a great friend to me during this tough time. Thanks heaps.
  • Thanks heaps for your patience while we resolved this issue.
  • Thanks heaps, for the surprise party. You really caught me off guard; now, what’s going on with these unexpected gifts?
  • You make the best lasagna. Thanks heaps for dinner.

Examples of "Thanks Heaps" in Pop Culture

"Thanks, Heaps" has found its way into popular culture, further cementing its place in informal English.

Here are some examples:

  • In the Australian TV show "Summer Heights High," the character Jonah often uses the phrase "Thanks Heaps."
  • The phrase is frequently used in Australian and New Zealand films and television, such as "The Castle" and "Flight of the Conchords."
  • In the Australian movie "The Dish," the character Glenn uses the phrase "Thanks Heaps."
  • The phrase is used in the song "Black Smoke" by Australian artist Emily Wurramara.
  • Australian author Liane Moriarty uses the phrase "Thanks Heaps" in her bestselling book "Big Little Lies."
  • The phrase appears in several episodes of the New Zealand television series "Outrageous Fortune."
  • The Australian film "Muriel's Wedding" has characters using the phrase "Thanks Heaps."
  • New Zealand band The Beths released an album called "Future Me Hates Me," which includes the phrase "Thanks Heaps" in the lyrics of one of the songs.

Other Ways to Say "Thanks Heaps" in Sentences

Like all idioms, "Thanks Heaps" has numerous alternatives that can be used in different contexts.

Some of these include:

  • Thanks a ton
  • I can't thank you enough
  • Thanks a million
  • Much appreciated
  • Thanks a bunch
  • Thank you very much
  • I'm forever grateful
  • Thanks a lot
  • Many thanks
  • I owe you one

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Thanks Heaps":

  • Where does "Thanks Heaps" originate?

It's primarily used in Australian and New Zealand English, where the term "heaps" is often used to mean a lot" or "very much".

  • Is "Thanks Heaps" formal or informal?

This phrase is considered informal and is most commonly used in casual or friendly conversations.

  • Can I use "Thanks Heaps" in a formal email?

It's usually better to use more traditional phrases like "Thank you very much" or "I appreciate your help" in formal or professional communications.

  • Can "Thanks Heaps" be used sarcastically?

Like many phrases, it can be used sarcastically, depending on the tone and context.

  • What's the difference between "Thanks Heaps" and "Thanks a lot"?

Both phrases are similar in meaning, but "Thanks Heaps" is more commonly used in Australia and New Zealand, while "Thanks a lot" is more universally understood in English-speaking countries.

  • What's an alternative phrase to "Thanks Heaps"?

There are many alternatives, such as "Thanks a ton", "Thanks a million", "Thanks a bunch", or "Thank you very much".

  • Is "Thanks Heaps" considered slang?

It's not typically considered slang, but rather an idiomatic or colloquial phrase used to express gratitude.

  • Is "Thanks Heaps" used in British or American English?

While it's more commonly used in Australian and New Zealand English, the phrase is understood and occasionally used in British and American English.

  • How often is "Thanks Heaps" used in everyday language?

The usage of "Thanks Heaps" in everyday language varies depending on the region, but it's fairly common in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Can I use "Thanks Heaps" in a text message?

Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to use "Thanks Heaps" in a text message, especially if you're texting someone you're familiar with.

Final Thoughts About "Thanks Heaps"

Understanding and using idioms like "Thanks Heaps" can add color and vibrancy to our everyday language. This phrase, while rooted in Australasian English, has found acceptance and usage across the world. It adds an informal, friendly touch to expressions of gratitude and is a part of the rich tapestry of the English language.

  • "Thanks, Heaps" is a casual way of expressing deep gratitude
  • It originates from Australian and New Zealand English
  • The phrase can be used in a variety of contexts, though it's less common in formal settings

Whether you're sending a quick text to a friend or signing off an email, don't hesitate to sprinkle in a "Thanks Heaps" to express your appreciation!

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