Indian giver


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an Indian giver

A person who asks the return of or takes back a gift after they have given it. (Potentially offensive due to the politically incorrect reference to Native Americans.) I'm sorry to be an Indian giver like this, but I'm afraid I need the $50 back that I gave you last week.
See also: giver, Indian

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]
See also: giver, Indian

Indian giver

Someone who gives a gift and then wants it returned. Native Americans' economy was based on the barter system; therefore, an item that colonists and settlers took to be an outright gift was expected to be reciprocated. When it was not, the giver wanted the item returned. The offensive phrase, which first appeared in mid-18th-century New England, is now rarely used . . . and properly so.
See also: giver, Indian
References in periodicals archive ?
Conditions were testing then and, not for the first time in her career, the Hugh McWilliams-trained Indian Giver provided conclusive proof that she relished cut underfoot.
The winner made all to beat Indian Giver, who finished well up the near side, by a length and three-quarters.
Having sprinted in from the car park, the jockey arrived with seconds to spare to ride Thirteen Shivers in the juvenile maiden, and his mount got off the mark at the third attempt when scoring by a length and three-quarters from the 150-1 chance Indian Giver.
The Richard Smith-ridden Johnny Reb was completing a two-day double for owners Lindy Regis and Geoff Howard-Spink, whose Indian Giver had won for Hannon 24 hours earlier.
RICHARD HANNON halted his march towards 50 consecutive losers in the last 10 days when Indian Giver, his 49th runner, swooped late to win the seven-furlong fillies' maiden under stable apprentice Pat Dobbs.
Ramsden's career then took a "right turn" into rock and roll, where he spent five years managing bands including Romanha, The Chimes and The Indian Givers.
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