What does the word "courtesy" mean with a ':'? Does it show the polite behaviour of the person named in the ad or does it show polite behaviour to him or is it a way to thank him?

Food distribution among flood victims

Courtesy: Mr James

Is the 2nd line thanking Mr James?

  • 5
    Make sure you link to the source (or explain why you can't(
    – James K
    Sep 28 at 5:35

4 Answers 4


It is probably a way of thanking him.

There is an idiom "(by) courtesy of" which means "with the permission of".

This photo is provided courtesy of Mr James.

The form with a colon looks like a shortening of that. The meaning is clear. However, I've not seen courtesy used with that punctuation before.

  • and that he acknowledges that use of his material. A "Mr James allowed me to use this without charging me" kind of thing.
    – Magno C
    Sep 29 at 13:06

Use of "Courtesy..." in a credit is not just a way of thanking someone, or stating that a resource was used with permission. It's used specifically if the work being credited was provided free of charge.

From the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, p.128:

3.33 Crediting material obtained free of charge. For material that the author has obtained free and without restrictions on its use, the credit line may use the word courtesy.

Based on the short snippet in the question, I think the context may be that:

  • "Food distribution among flood victims" is a caption on a photograph.

  • Mr. James owns copyright to this photograph, but he allowed it to be used for free in this particular ad

  • "Make sure you link to the source (or explain why you can't)." - That's kinda what this is about, and that it's not 'fair use' or it'd have to say CC BY-SA. or w/e it is.
    – Mazura
    Sep 29 at 3:51

courtesy of someone is an idiom

courtesy of someone idiom

from someone as a gift: We got these gift certificates for nothing, courtesy of two local businesses.

Your example

Courtesy: Mr James

is similar to saying courtesy of Mr James. It is a way to thank Mr James.

  • 7
    'Courtesy of' is not so much a way of thanking someone, as a way of simply acknowledging something that they did, or that they are the source of. Sep 28 at 7:49

It specifically means that this donation was made by Mr. James. But listing all the people who provided aid is a way of acknowledging and thanking all of them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .