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.
Indian Giver has twice finished runner-up at Carlisle, so the course clearly suits, and today's race won't take a great deal of winning.
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.
Mann; Indian Givers, by Jack Weatherford; Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown; The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine; and The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything, both by Naomi Klein.
Aamjiwnaang, home to the Green Teens who worked on the film Indian Givers, has 63 chemical refineries within 50km of the community; it is one of the most blatant cases of environmental racism in North America.
Jack Weatherford's Indian Givers analyzed the influence of Native American contributions to European capitalism to a scope beyond export of individual products.
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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