Of Course – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell someone that you’ll complete a task for them? You could always say “of course” as a polite way to let them know you comply with their request. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The meaning of the expression “of course” is a confirming statement saying you’ll comply with someone’s request or positively confirming their question. It’s a form of pleasantries that includes the likes of thank you and please. When you tell someone “of course,” it’s a nice way of saying “yes.”

You’ll use “of course” when you’re telling someone that they can trust you and your judgment, and they were right to count on you for the task. It’s a statement of absolute confidence, putting the other person’s mind at ease.

By saying “of course” in your confirmation, you’re telling the person that you were pleased to do the task or action for them. It’s a way of saying that you were willing with the job, and you would gladly do it again on request.

Example Usage

“Of course, I’m coming to juniors recital this evening. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. You can rely on me to be there, honey.”

Of course, my job means everything to me. Without it, I have no income and no means to support myself. Please don’t fire me.”

“What do you mean I don’t respect you? Of course, I do, you’re the closest person to me in this entire club, and you know I value your opinion.”

“I’ll be there to support you. Of course, I think you’re the best performer on the team. That’s why you’re my little baseball hero. Now get out there and show them what you’ve got.”

“Of course, things are going to be slow in the beginning. Don’t lose your cool. It’s going to take a few hours to get going.”

“Of course, I remembered to switch off the gas before we left the house. Do you think I’m an idiot?”

“Of course you want it, I just opened the bag of chips, and now you’re here begging at my side. You’re a bad dog, Monty.”

You know that I’m going to be there for you. Of course I take my responsibilities to you seriously, I promise.”

Origin

Language experts are unsure about the origin of the expression “of course.” Some experts believe it comes from the maritime industry. Being “on course” meant sailing along the panned route. The “matter of course” would be events taking place along the said course.

However, some evidence suggests that the phrase originates from the 1540s. Of course appears to be an iteration of “by course,” which has been around since at least the 1300s, when pleasantries started to develop in English.

The combined use of “of course” and “as a matter of course” appeared in the 1700s. The use of “of course” as a standalone phrase emerges in the 1800s.

Phrases Similar to Of Course

  • My pleasure.
  • For sure.
  • No problem.

Phrases Opposite to Of Course

  • No way.
  • No chance.
  • I’ won’t.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Of course.

Ways People May Say Of Course Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase with a sarcastic tone when trying to be disrespectful and make it seem like what the other person is asking is obvious or wasting their time. While this is not incorrect, it’s the less-common version.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Of Course

You can use “of course” as a confirming statement when someone asks you if you’re willing to carry out their request. The saying suits social and professional use, and it’s more common to use it at work or around other people you don’t know.

It’s another “politeness” invented as a way to be courteous to other people and show them respect. You could use it at work when your boss asks you to bring her a file. Use it at home when your partner asks you if you’re coming to your kid’s recital that evening.

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