Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
  • n. Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. Also called regionally boot2. See Regional Note at beignet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit, such as that given to a customer when they purchase something else.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In Louisiana, a trifling present given to customers by tradesmen; a gratuity.
  • n. A tip or gratuity.
  • n. Anything obtained gratuitously or unexpectedly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Louisiana French, from American Spanish la ñapa, the gift : la, the (from Latin illa, feminine of ille, that, the; see al-1 in Indo-European roots) + ñapa (variant of yapa, gift, from Quechua, from yapay, to give more).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Cajun French, from Spanish la ñapa variant of yapa, from Quechua yapay.

Examples

  • NEW ORLEANS — In these parts, they refer to it as lagniappe, a Cajun word that roughly translated means “a little bit extra.”

    Saints Beat Farve, Vikings. | CurveHouse.com

  • "What we call a lagniappe, a little somethin 'extra.

    License Invoked

  • It is the unearnable gift, the divine reversal and sacred surprise, the still small voice that drowns out the din of the maddening crowd, the little bit extra that my Cajun friends call lagniappe, the very thing we "deserve" the least but get anyway.

    Cathleen Falsani: Thanks(giving) Be to God

  • Just to entertain you, I'll pass on that JR, at L'homme qui marche, seeing "lagniappe" in your last entry, decided to look it up.

    An Awful Mess

  • Baksheesh or whatever they call it; every language has its own word from "lagniappe" to "pishkesh" to "mordida" "h'eung yau" is - am I stereotyping yet or will a scholar back me up?

    "Bhutto was fearless."

  • Waller's music, as "lagniappe," while cold chills raced up and down the spines of his hearers -- more or less immune to sensations of that character.

    The Dead Men's Song Being the Story of a Poem and a Reminiscent Sketch of its Author Young Ewing Allison

  • Tellem "JOE PARIS" sent you and receive some "lagniappe" with your meal!

    WN.com - Articles related to Ethnic group in Myanmar gears up for war, peace

  • Thirty-three teams prepared barbecue and "lagniappe" side dishes for about 1,300 guests to enjoy in the shade of the soaring Live oaks of Oaklawn, home of Don and Peggy Sprabery, who host this event annually to help support the orchestra.

    Homepage

  • Local revelers are expected to come out to party, but raising money for a good cause is more than just "lagniappe," a Louisiana term for "a little something extra."

    poststar.com RSS

  • The "lagniappe" gift comes in addition to the $100,000 yearly grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation that was secured by the local program after reaching membership goals and achieving success in its programs.

    Daily Headlines

Comments

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  • like swag, right?

    September 6, 2009

  • "We picked up one excellent word – a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word – 'lagniappe.' They pronounce it lanny-yap. It is Spanish – so they said."

    – Mark Twain, "Life on the Mississippi"

    (courtesy The Online Etymological Dictionary)

    February 3, 2009

  • Really? Who'd have guessed....

    October 29, 2007

  • Wow! This is derived from a Quechua term!

    October 29, 2007

  • Wikipedia cites Mark Twain pronouncing it lanny-yap, but in present day New Orleans it's pronounced LAN-yap, like your local area network is a LAN, and small dogs yap. LAN-yap.

    March 14, 2007

  • "Call it a little lagniappe, goodbuddy, that’s Duane Marvy’s way o’ doin’ thangs."

    - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, 1973

    December 7, 2006

  • Somewhere between the "baker's dozen" and a bribe.

    December 4, 2006