"Thanks a bunch guys! Who drank all the beer that I put in the fridge yesterday?"
This is what a British housemate said when she noticed that all the beer in the fridge was gone.
Anna a native Spanish speaker was seemingly baffled at this announcement .
Poor Anna is thinking to herself - "oh no, is this another idiom or phrasal verb. Why is she thanking me a bunch? I don't see any grapes or flowers! What is she talking about? She sounds so annoyed!"
In British English thanks a bunch is a phrase loaded with sarcasm.
But as I discovered in Canada a few years ago it can also genuinely mean thank you so much without an ounce of sarcasm! I once did a favour for a good friend in Vancouver and in return she wrote me a lovely card, with the words - Thanks a bunch! She was simply saying, thanks a million, thanks so much.
Here are some examples 'oozing with sarcasm' :
“Now you’re late we’ve missed our flight to Istanbul, thanks a bunch Emma.” Quite!
“You’ve eaten all my birthday chocolates! Thanks a bunch!”
Never fear we're not always such a sarcastic bunch. - "There you go, here’s a bunch of flowers, I got them especially for your birthday." (the friend happens to be Canadian). "Thanks a bunch she replies."
Now this has led me to wondering on its origins and how this phrase came to be used in our everyday language but I have had no such luck in my search so far. If I do I will write another post on it. But at a guess it probably stems from when someone was given a bouquet or bunch of flowers, responding with a 'thanks so much' which quite possiblly is where the 'thanks a bunch comes in'.
Other uses for bunch:
A bunch of flowers - a bouquet of flowers / A bunch of grapes