Indian giving

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Lewis and Clarke's misunderstanding of how Native Americans traded: a tribe which traded beads for a dog might later trade the dog back to its original owner, expecting something (such as the beads) in return, and taking it if it was not offered.[1]

Noun[edit]

Indian giving ‎(uncountable)

  1. (informal, offensive) The act of giving something to someone under the pretense that they get to keep it permanently, and then taking it back later on, or expecting something in return.

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The History Behind The Phrase 'Don't Be An Indian Giver' (NPR)