Middle English corteisie, from Anglo-French curteisie, from curteis
- 2a : general allowance despite facts : indulgence <hills called mountains by courtesy only>
- b : consideration, cooperation, and generosity in providing something (as a gift or privilege); also : agency, means —used chiefly in the phrases through the courtesy of or by courtesy of or sometimes simply courtesy of
Courtesy comes from old french 'courteis' (12th century) is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the behaviour expected of the gentry was compiled in courtesy books. One of the most influential of these was Il Cortegiano (The Courtier) which not only covered basic etiquette and decorum but also provided models of sophisticated conversation and intellectual skill.
In medieval India too, nobility and royalty were expected to display courteous behaviour. The concept was described by the Sanskrit word, daksinya, which meant "kindness and consideration expressed in a sophisticated and elegant way".