Word of the Day

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

lagniappe

\lan-YAP, LAN-yap\ , noun;
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.
Quotes:
We picked up one excellent word—a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word—'lagniappe.'
-- Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi, 1883
"Lagniappe!" I screamed the word. The old Creole word they used in New Orleans when they want a little extra; a bonus of croissants, a few additional carrots dumped into the shopping bag, a baker's dozen, a larger portion of clams or crabs or shrimp.
-- Harlan Ellison, "On the Downhill Side," Deathbird Stories, 1975
Origin:
Lagniappe, also spelled lagnappe, is an Americanism that entered English in the mid-19th century. It is thought to be a variant of the Spanish term la napa, which can be traced to the Quecha word yapa.
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