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Gift By Another Name Is Still A Gift

Jun 18, 2008
You walk into a shop and find a notice on an item that says Buy Two Get One Free. We see them everyday, in most shops around the world, but do we know what that is called?

Now you do. It is a lagniappe, which is a small gift from a merchant to a customer, usually in the from of a sale that encourages you to buy more than you would, with the reward of a free item. The word comes from the Spanish word la napa, meaning something that is added. The word is often still used in Central America and New Orleans. Let us now look at a few special gifts.

Gratuity

Whenever you go out to a restaurant, out of sheer habit, you present a gratuity at the end of the meal in reward for good service. Gratuity, or a tip as it is most commonly known, is a gift in the form of a payment to a server in the service industry beyond the advertised price.

Often, especially in North America, failure to tip is considered unethical and a breach of an unspoken social custom. It can be very difficult to determine how much to tip. The tipper will often have to figure out how much based on a percentage of the bill, taking off or adding to it depending on their perceived notion of the service.

Alms

Most of us know this word, we would assume, but when we give to charity for no other reason than to help out our fellow man, we are giving alms. Often, alms will be associated with the church giving alms to the poor to assist them through life, often believed to be one of the highest duties of a Christian individual.

Indulgence

In the Middle Ages, there was a practice called indulgence, which meant someone, having enough money, giving a donation to the church, in return for the removal of a sin. The wealthy often took advantage of this and gave to the church a great deal of gold.

The church as a result became very wealthy and encouraged the practice. Naturally, corruption was rampant with the practice and it was not until the Reformation and Martin Luther's 95 theses that changes began to take effect.

So there you have it, four words for various types of gifts that you may not have known. The next time you get a free item in a sale, thank them for the lagniappe, the next time you give a tip, tell the server their service deserved a high gratuity, and the next time you donate to the poor, tell others to open their arms as well with some alms.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for flowers and gifts. When shopping for flowers and gifts, we recommend you shop only at the best online stores that specialize in Unusual everyday Gifts, Unusual everyday flower arrangements, Unusual Jewelry selections.
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