I often hear people using the phrase "out of courtesy". My question is: can we also say

  • out of honesty


  • out of simplicity?

If not, then why not?

  • See macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/…. Note that "something emerged out of simplicity" would be unlike "out of courtesy". – Damkerng T. May 12 '15 at 0:29
  • We could really use more context for this. Could you add some examples of "out of courtesy" being used? "Out of honesty" may be acceptable in some of those usages, but not others. – DCShannon May 12 '15 at 0:29
  • @Damkerng T. - thanks for the link. It clears up all my doubts. – Aditya Singh May 12 '15 at 0:35

Indeed you can use it that way, although it's rare.

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For example,

"...pay your tithes and offerings out of honesty and integrity because they are God's rightful due."

  • Jeffrey R Holland

"I was too scared to tell Dada that I had confessed less out of honesty than out of the fear of being found out."

  • Narendra Jadhav, "Untouchables: My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India"

You can also use "out of pity", as in the folk song, "Take Her Out of Pity"


"Come a landsman, a pinsman, a tinker, a tailor,

A doctor, a lawyer, a soldier, a sailor,

A rich man, a poor man, a fool or a witty,

Don't let her die an old maid, but take her out of pity,"

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