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eldragon
11-01-2006, 07:59 PM
Indian giver mean?


I said it this morning, when describing how one of my kids gave her Halloween candy to the other last night - because she said she was too fat to eat it ................

and then this morning, she retracted the offer and snatched it back.

I called her an Indian giver, and then realized that I have no idea where that term originated. It's probably referring to something awful, like "jewing someone down,"

Anyone know?

mommywriter
11-01-2006, 08:07 PM
Hi Pam...
I'm no history buff but I believe that it refers to the Americans "giving" the land to the Native Americans and then taking it back.
Whether or not that's the true origin...it is an offensive term.

cree
11-01-2006, 08:09 PM
I'm married to an Injun. Mohawk. :)

The term is derogatory (like Injun). It started because Native Ams had no concept of money when the Europeans arrived. They traded items rather than sold them. If the receiver of an item offered for trade had nothing of equal value to trade, the item was taken back by the owner.
If I put a buffalo skin in your lap for trade consideration, and all you offered back was a sewing needle, I'd take my buffalo skin back.
Europeans misunderstood "gifts" for "trading".

Stew21
11-01-2006, 08:16 PM
yep, it's derogatory, but I'm glad you asked what it meant instead of just continuing to use the phrase. More people should do that!

:)

WriterInChains
11-01-2006, 08:29 PM
Years ago, a friend of mine explained it a little differently. He said that in many Native American traditions if anyone in the tribe needed something, say an extra blanket, whoever had one would give it to them until it wasn't needed anymore; they'd take it back when the need passed. So, giving something and taking it back at a later time for no visible reason to an outsider, generated the term "Indian Giver." Just a lack of understanding of the culture.

This may not be true of all NA cultures, I learned it while studying my own family history.

cree
11-01-2006, 08:47 PM
Caren- yes, I have heard that too. I'm not sure if that is tribe-specific, or not.
Either way, it is a logical approach to community life.

:)

whistlelock
11-01-2006, 09:09 PM
It's a lot like Welching on a bet. ;)


and you should probably look-up where and how that term came about.

cree
11-01-2006, 09:12 PM
It's a lot like Welching on a bet. ;)




How so?

WriterInChains
11-02-2006, 08:02 AM
Caren- yes, I have heard that too. I'm not sure if that is tribe-specific, or not.
Either way, it is a logical approach to community life.

:)
I thought so too, cree. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a community like that? :)




RE: Welching/Welshing on a bet, from the Online Etymology Dictionary (& a few other sources):

welch
1857, racing slang, "to refuse or avoid payment of money laid as a bet," probably a disparaging use of the national name Welsh.

IMO, another expression we can do without in the 21st century.

I don't see how it's anything like the OP's term either.

Kate Thornton
11-02-2006, 08:14 AM
I see how both terms are derogatory - leftovers from another time. "Beyond the pale" is another one we should look up and stop using. I'll bet we can think of more.

WriterInChains
11-02-2006, 08:28 AM
Kate, that's one I hadn't heard before. I wasn't surprised to find this def, though:

(Free Dictionary) if someone's behaviour is beyond the pale, it is not acceptable. "Her recent conduct is beyond the pale."




This subject is one I've thought about quite a bit, since my dad could've been Archie Bunker's understudy. He said all kinds of terrible things as if they were normal, but I didn't realize it until I said "You're such a slave driver" to a black friend -- I wanted to disappear. After that, I thought about all the "cute little sayings" I'd heard as a kid and most of them have disappeared from my vocabulary. Good riddance! :)

cree
11-02-2006, 08:43 AM
I'm not sure how the phrase Beyond the Pale is derogatory? Am I missing something?

A pale is a fence post. So beyond the pale means someone's behavior is not within the "fence" of society. It was used in ancient Ireland to separate races, yes. Is that what you mean?

To me, it just meant you're outside the jurisdiction of normal people :)

BottomlessCup
11-02-2006, 09:07 AM
I'll bet we can think of more.

to "gyp" someone
Dutch courage
Dutch date
Irish twins (although probably only my grandma still says that)(about my cousins!)
jamoke
to 'Finnish' too quickly in bed

BottomlessCup
11-02-2006, 09:09 AM
I'm not sure how the phrase Beyond the Pale is derogatory? Am I missing something?

A pale is a fence post. So beyond the pale means someone's behavior is not within the "fence" of society. It was used in ancient Ireland to separate races, yes. Is that what you mean?

To me, it just meant you're outside the jurisdiction of normal people :)

If by normal people, you mean the people who live in the city.
Not the 'wild ones' out there.
Not the 'natives'.

I would use the term. Who would actually be offended?

cree
11-02-2006, 09:12 AM
If by normal people, you mean the people who live in the city.
Not the 'wild ones' out there.
Not the 'natives'.

I would use the term. Who would actually be offended?

Oh. See, I live in the country, so the people who live in the city are on the other side of my fence posts.
It works from both sides of the fence :)

If the assumption is that pale meant "pale-faces" as opposed to native americans, I don't know of any usage like that?

I haven't heard the term Irish twins in ages!!! :) LOL. I never thought of it as derogatory, but I guess you could kinda go there....

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 09:52 AM
I would use the term. Who would actually be offended?

I have friends who are Indian Givers on occasion and until someone comes up with an aceptable term to describe someone who give you something then takes it back other than you are a "person who gives something then takes it back," I will continue to use this term.

Probably not to a Native American though.

BottomlessCup
11-02-2006, 10:15 AM
I was referring to "beyond the pale", billy.

You shouldn't say Indian Giver. Why do you need a term? I have a friend who rarely returns phone calls in a prompt manner, but I don't need some latenly racist term to describe people with that trait.

I just say, "Hey, answer your voice mail, a**hole." As you should say, "Hey, quit taking your gifts back, a**hole," instead of just shouting "Indian Giver!" or whatever you were doing.


Irish Twins is definitely derogatory. The theory is: Irish = Catholic = No birth control = Two babies in one year. It ain't a compliment.

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 10:28 AM
You shouldn't say Indian Giver.

We shouldn't say a lot of things.

It is the acceptable societal term for someone who gives you something then takes it away.

The Washington Redskins probably shouldn't be the Washington Redskins, but they are.

But, I will not bow to the ridiculous over reaching world of political correctness.

There's a scale of poltical correctness that I don't mind adhering to and then there's off the scale.

Thank you.

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 10:32 AM
Why do you need a term?

Because I do.

They took black and made it African-American.

If you don't want me to use "Indian Giver," okay...give me another term.

I don't want to say "Hey a**hole, why did you take your gift back?"

I just want to say "Dude, you're a 'snatchbacker.'"

Or something.

I'll wait patiently for a new term.

And maybe no one will take back a gift from me until then.

And all will be well.
:)

Inkdaub
11-02-2006, 10:35 AM
What about Indian Summer? I know it means a long summer...but why Indian? Maybe the summers are long in India? Or is referring to Native Americans? Just what is going on here?

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 10:35 AM
What about Indian Summer?

One of my favorite movies.
:)

BottomlessCup
11-02-2006, 10:40 AM
I just want to say "Dude, you're a 'snatchbacker.'":)

'Snatchbacker' already has a definition.

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 10:43 AM
'Snatchbacker' already has a definition.

I knew you would do something with that part of my post.

How's your hot girlfriend by the way?

How'd that all work out?

BottomlessCup
11-02-2006, 10:54 AM
It's going fine.

It was a weird, tense weekend, but that's why I live 1800 miles away from my parents.

billythrilly7th
11-02-2006, 10:59 AM
It's going fine.

It was a weird, tense weekend, but that's why I live 1800 miles away from my parents.

1000 miles should be the minimum buffer in many cases.

You're in great shape.

GPatten
11-02-2006, 01:52 PM
Indian giver is an American English expression used for any individual who gives something and then either takes it back or wants to take it back.

The expression Indian giver is based on the belief that Native Americans would lend items to the settlers, in other words, let them borrow necessities. The settlers thought that this was a gift from the Native Americans; hence, they were shocked when the Native Americans asked for their items back.

Some consider the phrase a racial stereotype because using the term to denote a person who takes back what they previously gave implies that Native Americans might commonly practice this. It also uses the term Indian to denote Native American, which can be offensive to some.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_giver

cree
11-02-2006, 10:11 PM
Irish Twins is definitely derogatory. The theory is: Irish = Catholic = No birth control = Two babies in one year. It ain't a compliment.

The only time I've heard it used was by the mother of a set of "irish twins". she was proud of her 6 kids, and presented the 2 babies that way. Whenever someone questioned how close they were in age, she'd say 'Oh, they're my Irish twins' with a laugh.

WriterInChains
11-03-2006, 01:46 AM
I'm not sure how the phrase Beyond the Pale is derogatory? Am I missing something?

A pale is a fence post. So beyond the pale means someone's behavior is not within the "fence" of society. It was used in ancient Ireland to separate races, yes. Is that what you mean?

To me, it just meant you're outside the jurisdiction of normal people :)

I'm the one who missed something. I had no idea a "pale" was a fencepost. I'll have to go back to reading my 10lb dictionary! I thought it was about skin color. If it just means "outside the norm" I'm all for it! :)

BTW, "Irish twins" was originated as a derogatory term. Pretty much any term describing Catholics originated as a slur -- but they've taken it back like many groups do with derogatory words/phrases. It's not usually seen as a slur anymore, unless someone obviously means it that way.

"Indian Giver" is as offensive as the N-word or the term "gyp" or "jew" to mean cheating someone, or a chauvanist calling a grown woman "girl" or "honey" without permission. It's not about being PC, which I don't give a flying f*ck about -- it's about being polite to another person or group of people and not using words/phrases that were created specifically to insult and degrade. Even if you believe the word/phrase was generated out of ignorance, isn't that enough reason to stop using it? I may not be PC, but I'd rather not spread ignorance. If I have to come up with a new term for something, so be it -- I'm a writer, words are my thing.

OK, jumping off the soapbox now. :)

billythrilly7th
11-03-2006, 01:52 AM
offensive as the term "gyp" to mean cheating

I'll make sure to watch my tongue next time I come across a group of gypsies.

:rolleyes:

Indian giver is not equivalent to the N-word. And "gyped" is not equivalent to "jewed."

You may want to put them in the arena of "words we shouldn't say." But...

None of the words are equivalent to each other because their meanings are based on different things and different levels of prejudice.

Thank you.

billythrilly7th
11-03-2006, 01:58 AM
"JERRY: Well, it's too late. I gave it to Elaine, and she's already on her way to
give it to George's father.

WINONA: Jerry, I really need it back. It, it is mine.

JERRY: You can't give something and then take it back. I mean, what are you...
(catches himself)

WINONA: What?

JERRY: A uh, a person that uh...

WINONA: A person that what?

JERRY: Well, a person that gives something and then they're dissatisfied and they wish they had, had never uh...

WINONA: And?

JERRY: ...give, given it to the person that they originally gave it to.

WINONA: You mean like, an Indian giver?!

JERRY: I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that term."

:D

WriterInChains
11-03-2006, 03:46 AM
And "gyped" is not equivalent to "jewed."

Why? Because it's less fashionable to insult a Jewish person than a Roma?
Sorry; ridiculous.


You may want to put them in the arena of "words we shouldn't say." But...

None of the words are equivalent to each other because their meanings are based on different things and different levels of prejudice.

Thank you.


You're entitled to your opinion; I don't agree. Who decides which racial slur is worse than another? To me (& many others, thank goodness), they're all just bad & should go the way of "thee" and "thou" in casual conversation.

How can there be an acceptable level of prejudice??? If that's not what you're implying, sorry, but that's what it looks like to me.

billythrilly7th
11-03-2006, 04:01 AM
You're entitled to your opinion; I don't agree.

And you are entitled to yours, which I don't agree with.

Words evolve over time and often become benign parts of the vernacular such as "gyped." And the person uttering them probably doesn't realize that 3000 years ago or whatever it started as a bad term for roving gypsie bandits or something.

And other words haven't evolved and are blatantly awful and the person uttering them knows it. Like "jewed."

Thank you.

billythrilly7th
11-03-2006, 04:12 AM
What I said up there.

Thank you.