Some people[who?] find the expression, particularly when employed in the service industry, to be rude, implying that a reasonable request could have been received as problematic or unwelcome. However, in the culture of younger Americans, no problem is often used as a more conversational alternative to you're welcome.
The expression is sometimes used as an instance of "pseudo-Spanish" or Mock Spanish. An early example appears in a 1959 edition of the American Import and Export Bulletin, with an advertisement stating: "Foreign shipping is No Problemo". Its usage as a Spanish expression is incorrect; a correct translation would be ningún problema, sin problema or no hay problema. Many Spanish words from Latin roots that have English cognates have an -o in Spanish from the masculine Latin suffix -us, such as "insect" (insecto), "pilot" (piloto), and "leopard" (leopardo); however, "problem" belongs to the group of words ending with an a in Spanish that have a similar English counterpart, such as "poet" (poeta), "ceramic" (cerámica) and "rat" (rata). In the case of problema, this is because it has a Greek 'ma' ending, and as such is among the Iberian words ending in 'ma', such as tema, which is in fact masculine.
In the constructed languages of Esperanto and Ido, the word "problem" translates as "problemo". However, the etymology of the expression's use in the English language cannot be traced to either of these languages.
- Bologna, Caroline (March 1, 2018). "Why Don't We Say 'You're Welcome' Anymore?". HuffPost.
- Dinkin, Aaron (2018). "It's no problem to be polite: Apparent-time change in responses to thanks". Journal of Sociolinguistics. 22 (2): 190–215. doi:10.1111/josl.12278.
- Tom Dalzell, Terry Victor, eds., The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (2006), p. 1383.
- John M. Lipski (2004). "Is 'Spanglish' the third language of the South?: truth and fantasy about U.S. Spanish" (PDF). p. 15. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- American Import and Export Bulletin - Volumes 50-51 (1959), p. 278.
- Andor, József (2008). No Problem (PDF). UPRT 2008: Empirical Studies in English Applied Linguistics. pp. 153–164. ISBN 978-963-642-300-1.
- Brenner, Gail (September 23, 2011). Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780764524776.
- McKean, Erin (November 29, 2009). "The un-welcome - What's the problem with 'no problem'?". The Boston Globe.
- Richardson, Kristen (November 10, 2011). "My Problem with 'No Problem': It's Destroying Civility". The New York Observer.
- Schneider, Klaus P. (2005). No problem, you're welcome, anytime: Responding to thanks in Ireland, England, and the USA. The Pragmatics of Irish English. pp. 101–139. ISBN 3110184699.
- Tucker, Maria (January 29, 2009). "Here's the problem: 'No problem' is replacing 'You're welcome'". McClatchy Newspapers.