Duly Noted – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did your boss send you an email with a list of requests? You could reply with “duly noted” to confirm your receipt of the instructions and your intention to execute them. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression “duly noted” serves as a confirmation statement acknowledging someone else’s instructions or request. It usually features in professional communications, such as email writing where subordinates confirm a manager’s request.

It means that you comply with what the person is asking you, and it also serves as a way for you to acknowledge receipt of their instructions and plan to execute them at their request. If you reply with “duly noted,” the other person will assume that they don’t have to repeat themselves at a later date and that you are competent enough to act on their instructions.

However, the phrase can have sarcastic use, depending on the request and the situation. Using it with a sarcastic or ironic intent shows the other person that you don’t have any interest in what they’re saying, and you’re likely to forget about it or fail to act on their request.

Typically, the sarcastic side of the expression suits personal and social use, and using it sarcastically in business would likely get you fired or reprimanded.

Example Usage

“Your request to make the changes to the algorithm is duly noted. We’ll bring them up at the next management meeting on Friday and have an answer for you next week.”

“I understand the required changes, and all your requests are duly noted. We’ll get to work on things right away and have a progress report early next week.”

“Duly noted. We understand everything, but how do you intend to bring these changes about”? It’s going to be challenging to get people to comply.”

“Yes, honey, duly noted. I’ll make sure I take the trash out tomorrow before the garbage truck arrives. Don’t worry about it.”

“Your opinion is duly noted, and I immediately disregard your reality and substitute my own.”

“Duly noted. Thanks for the call, Mike. I appreciate you taking the time to bring me up to date with everything.”

“I can handle that, sir, duly noted. We’ll ensure we have the car here at 9 am sharp, and the driver will be aware of your needs on the way to the conference arena.”

Origin

The expression “duly noted” has unknown origins. However, experts believe it arises from professional language and business-speak in the late 1800s.

The phrase was a confirmation statement used in professional communications long before the advent of email. The industrial revolution introduced the business hierarchy and the distribution of labor, building businesses into self-sustaining entities where knowing your place in the managerial and ownership hierarchy was important to advance your success.

Typically, it was an expression used by subordinates when acknowledging instructions from their superiors. The word “duly” comes from Middle English, and the word “duweliche” (properly” or “rightly).

Phrases Similar to Duly Noted

  • Confirmed.
  • As you wish.

Phrases Opposite to Duly Noted

  • Please explain further.
  • I would like to add an addendum.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Duly noted.

Ways People May Say Duly Noted Incorrectly

Some people may confuse the spelling of “duly” with other words. An example is “dully,” which means boringly, barely, or sluggishly. Replying to a corporate email with “dully noted” would likely land you in trouble with management.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Duly Noted

You can use “duly noted” when replying to people’s requests, commands, or instructions. The phrase suits professional and social use, and it can have a sarcastic or ironic connotation to it, depending on the context of the conversation.

You could use it at work when replying to an email from your boss regarding updated instructions for a project. You could use it at home sarcastically when your partner reminds you of something insignificant or impertinent to what you’re doing at the time.

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