Indian giver

Indian giver

noun Informal: Sometimes Offensive.
a person who gives a gift and then takes it back.

Origin:
1825–35

Indian giving, noun


This term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by American Indians. However, it originally referred to their custom of giving a gift and expecting an equivalent gift in return. See also Indian.
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World English Dictionary
Indian giver
 
n
offensive (US), (Canadian) a person who asks for the return of a present he has given
 
Indian giving
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

Indian giver

One who takes or demands back one's gift to another, as in Jimmy wanted to take back Dan's birthday present, but Mom said that would make him an Indian giver. This term, now considered offensive, originally alluded to the Native American practice of expecting a gift in return for one that is given. [Colloquial; early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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