civility costs nothing

Politeness now often replaces civility. Cf. late 15th-cent. Fr. de bouche honnesteté..petit couste et vault plenté, courteous words..cost little and are worth much.

1706 J. STEVENS Spanish & English Dict. s.v. Cortesía, Mouth civility is worth much and costs little.

1765 LADY M. W. MONTAGU Letter 30 May (1967) III. 107 Remember Civility costs nothing, and buys every thing.

1765 H. TIMBERLAKE Memoirs 73 Politeness..costs but little.

1873 W. ALLINGHAM Rambles xiv. Civility costs nothing, it is said—Nothing, that is, to him that shows it; but it often costs the world very dear.

1980 E. HARRIS Medium for Murder x. ‘It made me hopping mad to hear you kow-towing to him.’.. ‘Politeness costs nothing,’ said Brooker.

1992 C. GRAHAM Death in Disguise v. 95 There was no call, Jill’s boss had agreed whilst comforting his employee with an iced Malibu, to take that tone. Politeness cost nothing.


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