Lagniappe - That Little Something Extra

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Pronunciation: ˈlan-ˌyap For a sound file of this word, see the Cajun French-English Glossary of Louisiana State University[1]


What is lagniappe? It's a gift.

lagniappe (n.) Something extra given at no cost; a bonus. [From the Spanish " la ñapa" meaning "something extra,"]

History of Lagniappe


The tradition of lagniappe was passed down from Creole families, those descended from French or Spanish settlers. Once customary to ask for a "yapa" (a gift) when making a purchase, the merchant would usually respond by throwing in a little something extra. An old custom, it is still widely practiced today in Louisiana. It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a "baker's dozen."

This gift tradition has carried over into our business practices. Establishments reward their customers with trivial gifts - particularly for large purchases or repeat customers. Many merchants and banks offer free gifts to those who open accounts with them.

Using Lagniappe to Coordinate Your Gift Ideas


It is not surprising, that the lagniappe tradition of giving something extra has found its way into the repertoire of the creative gift givers. In an effort to add a more personal touch to gift-giving, many gift givers are giving a little something extra along with their gift. This unexpected attention to detail highlights their creativity and truly delights their recipient.

  • Kitchen Bridal Shower or Housewarming gift of bakeware - add measuring spoons, apron, cookbook,
or a Sweet Treats Kitchen Whisk.
  • If someone's Wedding Registry includes towels, add a fancy bar of soap to the box.
  • Baby Shower gift of a diaper bag? Add an assortment of baby changing goodies.
  • For the Foodie who loves fresh baked bread, give the basket as part of the gift. Homemade cake? Give the cake platter.
  • Pillar or jar candles could use a long lighter for easy use.
  • When giving a book, add a book light or a bookmark, you can even put your creative skills to work and make a homemade bookmark.
  • Handyman Shower? Add some tools to the toolbox or a tool apron. Be creative! It might just become that "special" box of tools!

Give The Unexpected!


Remember, for lagniappe to be most effective, it must be unexpected. The surprise of finding out that there is more always creates excitement and will leave your recipient with that warm fuzzy feeling. Plus, by adding that little something extra, your gift presentation will be enhanced because "presentation is everything!"

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