Yes, I think it's really just idiomatic.
Interestingly, it's OK to say He didn't thank me much. And there's He much regretted the mistake, which suggests that He much thanked me might even be OK.
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Anonymous:I've heard "thanks much" and "thanks muchly" in a jokey way, though. How would this compare for you with "many thanks" which people tend to say on the phone?
Lil' Ruby Rose (at home!)
According to this, thanks much is wrong, while thanks very much and he didn't thank me much are correct.
An exception is what Clive quotes: He much regretted the mistake. This, however, sounds quite formal and in fact we avoid much alone in the positive precisely because it's formal.
Anonymous:This has kept popping into my head all day (I know, I need to get out more!). Is there just something about the implied quantity of ‘much’ that’s making this sound weird? After all, I’m comfortable with “thanks a lot”, “thanks a million”, “thanks a bunch”. Perhaps it just needs a quantity that can be quantified… if you know what I mean?
Lil’ Ruby Rose
HSS:Hi, I lived in eastern Indiana some twenty five years ago, and my friends at highschool used "Thanks much" a lot. Till today I've thought it is an expression commonly used among people. I'll be careful not to use it any more.
My older brother is another one who likes to say, 'thanks muchly'.
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