What does the idiomatic expression “Much Obliged” Mean? Idioms are figurative language that is used to convey a thought or a feeling. These kinds of phrases are typically used as an alternative way to relay a literal message without using literal language. “Much obliged” is one of these idioms. Here you will find the meaning of the phrase, details about its origin, examples of how to properly use the phrase in conversations/statements and other ways to say the same thing.
Much Obliged Meaning
The phrase “much obliged” means that someone is extremely thankful for what someone else has done for them and can imply that they owe them a debt or a favor in return.
Origin of this idiom
The phrase “much obliged” was widely used in the 1500s and 1600s as a way to say thank you. The term thank you widely replaced its usage a few short years later and today the phrase “much obliged” is considered old-fashioned to some. However, in the southern United States, the term is still popular and widely used to convey thanks.
“Much Obliged” Examples
Examples in Statements
A news report statement in a story about a serious car accident.
- “The driver of one of the cars involved in the accident stated that he was much obliged to the police officers and firefighters who showed up on the scene quickly and saved my life.”
A statement made in the school yearbook by a student.
- “To Mr. Johnson: I am much obliged for your continued dedication to my studies. Without your faith in me, I would have never made it through.”
Examples in Conversation
A conversation between an employee and his boss.
- Boss: I have made arrangements to make sure all your shifts are covered while you take time to spend with your wife and your new baby.
- Employee: Thank you, sir. I am much obliged.
A conversation between two friends.
- Friend 1: I took notes some notes in class yesterday. I can copy them for you since you were out sick yesterday.
- Friend 2: Oh my gosh! You are a lifesaver! I am much obliged!
- I am much obliged to you for the loan of the book.
- I shall be much obliged if you will be so kind as to help me accomplish my long-cherished wish.
- We are much obliged to you for your help.
Other Ways to Say “Much Obliged”
As is the case with all these types of phrases, there is a literal way to say “much obliged” that still means the same. For instance, simply saying thank you or I am forever in your debt are two ways to convey the same meaning.
List of “Much Obliged” synonyms:
- Thank you
- Very grateful
- Thank you very much
- Really appreciate
- Thanks a lot
- Many thanks
- Thanks a million