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lagniappe

or la·gnappe

[lan-yap, lan-yap]
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noun
  1. Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas. a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus.
  2. a gratuity or tip.
  3. an unexpected or indirect benefit.
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Origin of lagniappe

1840–50, Americanism; < Louisiana French < American Spanish la ñapa the addition, equivalent to la feminine definite article + ñapa, variant of yapa < Quechua: that which is added
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

giftbonusgratuitytiplargesspresent

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British Dictionary definitions for lagniappe

lagniappe

lagnappe

noun US
  1. a small gift, esp one given to a customer who makes a purchase
  2. something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus
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Word Origin

C19: Louisiana French, from American Spanish la ñapa, from Quechua yápa addition
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

Word Origin and History for lagniappe

n.

"dividend, something extra," 1849, from New Orleans creole, of unknown origin though much speculated upon. Originally a bit of something given by New Orleans shopkeepers to customers. Said to be from American Spanish la ñapa "the gift." Klein says this is in turn from Quechua yapa "something added, gift."

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"]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper