Monday, September 05, 2005

In honor of those hailing from parts stricken by Katrina

(pronounced lăn-yăp')
noun (Chiefly Southern Louisiana & Mississippi)
1. A small gift presented by a storeowner to a customer with the customer's purchase.
2. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. Also called boot.
REGIONAL NOTE Lagniappe derives from New World Spanish la ñapa, “the gift,” and ultimately from Quechua yapay, “to give more.” The word came into the rich Creole dialect mixture of New Orleans and there acquired a French spelling. It is still used in the Gulf states, especially southern Louisiana, to denote a little bonus that a friendly shopkeeper might add to a purchase. By extension, it may mean “an extra or unexpected gift or benefit.”

May those affected by Hurricane Katrina receive many lagniappes in the days to come.