phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Indian giver

Posted by ESC on July 11, 2000

In Reply to: Indian giver posted by angie engelhardt on July 11, 2000

: I've always known an indian giver to be someone who gives something and then takes it back.
: origin: white man "giving" land to natives...until they wanted to take it over later and push them off
: it again.
: This is different than the definition and origin given... Have I been mistaken?

For more information, search under "Indian" in the archives. Note, this says "alleged" custom.

INDIAN GIVER - Charles Earle Funk, in "Heavens to Betsy," states: ".even back in colonial days an 'Indian gift' referred to the 'alleged custom among Indians,' according to the 'Handbook of American Indians' issued by the Smithsonian Institution, 'of expecting an equivalent for a gift or otherwise its return.' The same authority defines 'Indian giver' - 'A repentant giver.'."