“In your debt”
A friend was thankful for a gift I gave him today and said to me, “I am in your debt. No, wait... you are in my debt. Thanks.”
I am now thinking about the meaning of these idioms. We’ve all heard variants of this (not using the word “indebted”):
1: “I am in your debt.” 2: “You are in my debt.” 3: “I am in debt to you. 4: “You are in debt to me.”
I am now unclear if the users of these phrases are using them correctly. Whom owes whom? Right now, I am seeing it like this: 1: Speaker is stating that listener owes something to speaker. 2: Statement that listener owes something to listener. 3: Speaker owes something to listener. 4: Statement that listener owes something to speaker.
Are these correct? Are there more clear variants of showing indebtedness (I now open the subject up to using the word “indebted”)?