Posted by Ed Stansell on October 19, 2002
In Reply to: Never heard this meaning posted by Karl on October 18, 2002
: It meant someone who gave something then wanted it back.
: Just guessing, but with this meaning, p'raps it stems from the fact that certain Amerind cultures have a vastly different notion of property ownership than EuroAm culture.
: "I want to grow wheat on this field."
: "Sure go ahead."
: Next year the tribe is encamped there.
: "You said I could grow wheat here."
: "Yes and you did. Now I am spending the summer here."
you want to know what the American Indians, whom you all acknowledge are the source
of this phrase,consider its meaning to be. Ask one. Who should know better than
they, the true meaning of Indian giver?. You will find, as I have, that it stems
from the white man giving to the Indian, only to take back the gift when it suited
him to do so. This happened countless times, in land (which ironically the Indian
already owned), in material gifts, and in promises.