lagniappe

la·gniappe (lăn’yəp, lăn-yăp’)
n. Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi 1) A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase. 2) An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. Also called regionally boot2. See Note at BEIGNET(Cf. ↑beignet).
[Louisiana French, from American Spanish la ñapa, the gift : la, the (from Latin illa, feminine of ille, that, the; see al-1) + ñapa (variant of llapa, gift of a little something extra, bonus, from Quechua, from yapay, to give more).]
Word History: "We picked up an excellent word—a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word-'lagniappe'.... It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a 'baker's dozen.' It is something thrown in gratis, for good measure." In this passage from his memoir Life on the Mississippi (1883), Mark Twain calls his readers' attention to an American regionalism that he thinks deserves to be better known, lagniappe. The story of lagniappe begins in South America: it ultimately comes from the word yapay, "to give more," in Quechua, the language of the rulers of the Inca Empire. The Quechua word was borrowed into Spanish as a noun spelled either llapa or ñapa, meaning "bonus, a little something extra added as a gift," and the word then spread throughout the Spanish of the Western Hemisphere. Eventually, the Spanish phrase la ñapa, meaning "the gift," entered the rich Creole dialect mixture of New Orleans, where the whole phrase came to be thought of as a single word and acquired the French spelling lagniappe. The word was then borrowed into the English of the region. Lagniappe continues to be used in the Gulf states, especially southern Louisiana, to denote a little bonus that a friendly shopkeeper might add to a purchase. By extension, it may mean "an extra or unexpected gift or benefit."

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lagniappe — refers to a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th beignet when buying a dozen), or more broadly, something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure. [cite web | url=http://www.m… …   Wikipedia

  • Lagniappe — La*gniappe, Lagnappe La*gnappe , n. [Also spelled {lagnappe}.][Etym. uncertain.] 1. In Louisiana, a trifling present given to customers by tradesmen; a gratuity. [1913 Webster] Lagniappe . . .is something thrown in, gratis, for good measure. Mark …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lagniappe — dividend, something extra, 1849, from New Orleans creole, of unknown origin though much speculated upon. Originally a bit of something given by New Orleans shopkeepers to customers. Said to be from Amer.Sp. la ñapa the gift. Klein says this is in …   Etymology dictionary

  • lagniappe — ☆ lagniappe or lagnappe [lan yap′, lan′yap΄ ] n. [Creole < Fr la, the + Sp ñapa, lagniappe < Quechuan yapa] 1. Chiefly South a small present given to a customer with a purchase 2. a gratuity or the like …   English World dictionary

  • lagniappe — index contribution (donation), grant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • lagniappe — noun Etymology: American French, from American Spanish la ñapa the lagniappe, from la + ñapa, yapa, from Quechua yapa something added Date: 1844 a small gift given a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase; broadly something given or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • lagniappe — noun /ˈlænjæp/ (Louisiana, Mississippi and Trinidad and Tobago) An extra or unexpected gift or benefit , 1973: ‘Call it a little lagniappe, goodbuddy, that’s Duane Marvy’s way o’ doin’ thangs.’ …   Wiktionary

  • lagniappe — /lan yap , lan yap/, n. 1. Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus. 2. a gratuity or tip. 3. an unexpected or indirect benefit. Also,… …   Universalium

  • lagniappe — Synonyms and related words: Trinkgeld, balance, bonus, bonus system, bounty, bribe, consideration, decoration, dividend, donative, double time, extra, extra added attraction, extra dash, fee, filigree, filling, fillip, flourish, frill, fringe… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • lagniappe —  A small, unexpected gift; pronounced lan yap …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

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