"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Monday, 23 March 2009


Lagniappe is a word of French origin meaning something extra or in addition to or including other things. It is usually used to mean an extra or unexpected gift or benefit, in particular a small gift given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase.

Perhaps it's not surprising that I hadn't heard this word before - not many of the merchants I know give their customers small gifts!


  1. I JUST FOUND http://www.johnsbooks.org/!!! Can't believe I didn't see it before!
    After reading this post, I had to go look up pronunciation. Dictionary.com. Maybe you can copy the pronunciation from there onto your blog?
    I do so appreciate you!

  2. I heard it used once 15 years or so ago by a vendor who gave us all lagniappes. I haven't heard it since: until today!

  3. Thanks Shabby Girl - such a nice compliment!.

    And thanks Don- it's good to know that some of these more obscure words are still in use.