phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Indian giver

Posted by R. Berg on February 05, 2003

In Reply to: Indian giver posted by Chris on February 05, 2003

: Contrary to the definition in the site's entry, the phrase "indian giver" is used in the U.S. to mean a person who gives something and later takes it back.

: I assume that the origin is derogatory toward American Indians, but would more aptly describe the actions of the American government which "gave" the Indians areas of land by treaty and later took it back.

: The American Heritage Dictionary confirms the definition.

We've had some discussion of this phrase, and its application to the govt's treatment of the Indians did indeed come up. You can find what was said by typing "Indian giver" in the Search Archive box.