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Indian giver

noun, Informal: Sometimes Offensive.
a person who gives a gift and then takes it back.
Origin of Indian giver
First recorded in 1825-35
Related forms
Indian giving, noun
Usage note
This term is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by American Indians. However, it originally referred to their custom of giving a gift and expecting an equivalent gift in return. See also Indian. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Indian giver

Indian giver

(US & Canadian, offensive) a person who asks for the return of a present he has given
Derived Forms
Indian giving, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with Indian giver

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. [ ; early 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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