Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
  • noun An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun In Louisiana, a trifling present given to customers by tradesmen; a gratuity.
  • noun A tip or gratuity.
  • noun Anything obtained gratuitously or unexpectedly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Louisiana, Trinidad and Tobago An extra or unexpected gift or benefit, such as that given to a customer when they purchase something else.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Louisiana French, from American Spanish la ñapa, the gift : la, the (from Latin illa, feminine of ille, that, the; see al- in Indo-European roots) + ñapa (variant of llapa, gift of a little something extra, bonus, from Quechua, from yapay, to give more).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Cajun French, from Spanish la ñapa variant of yapa, from Quechua yapay.

Examples

Comments

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  • Somewhere between the "baker's dozen" and a bribe.

    December 4, 2006

  • "Call it a little lagniappe, goodbuddy, that’s Duane Marvy’s way o’ doin’ thangs."

    - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, 1973

    December 7, 2006

  • Wikipedia cites Mark Twain pronouncing it lanny-yap, but in present day New Orleans it's pronounced LAN-yap, like your local area network is a LAN, and small dogs yap. LAN-yap.

    March 14, 2007

  • Wow! This is derived from a Quechua term!

    October 29, 2007

  • Really? Who'd have guessed....

    October 29, 2007

  • "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"

    (courtesy The Online Etymological Dictionary)

    February 3, 2009

  • like swag, right?

    September 6, 2009