SIGN UP

Indian Giver, where does this come from?

Avatar Image
Lan | 16:30 Fri 15th Sep 2006 | Phrases & Sayings
3 Answers
I'd heard this phrase quite alot when I was young but recently heard it in a song. I get that it means something along the lines of giving something to somebody and then taking it away again but where did it come from and why? Any ideas?

Answers

1 to 3 of 3rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by Lan. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Indian giver was termed when Native Americans would lend items to the settlers, in other words, let them borrow necessities. The settlers thought that this was a gift from the Native Americans; hence, they were shocked when the Native Americans asked for their items back.
Pretty close... Etymologies and Word Origins says: The noun Indian gift dates to 1765. Indian giver follows about a century later in 1865. Originally, these reflected simply the expectation of a return gift. By the 1890s, the sense had shifted to mean one who demands a gift back.

Probably comes from the native American winter ceremony of potlach, or competitive gift-giving. Villages would try to drive each other into penury by giving (and often destroying)increasingly valuable gifts.

1 to 3 of 3rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Indian Giver, where does this come from?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.