Talk:Lagniappe

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Untitled[edit]

This is a very confusing article.

It begins by saying Lagniappe is a "French/Spanish loanword" (So it's a French word or it's a Spanish word borrowed by, presumably, English speakers.)

Then it says it's a "Louisiana French word, derived from American Spanish" (So does that mean that, despite the previous sentence saying it's a French word, it's not really French but used by those who speak French in Louisiana? Or does it mean that it's not really Spanish but derived from the Spanish spoken in America?)

Then it says it has been "traced back to the Quechua word yapa or nyap". (So does that mean that its origin is after all neither French nor Spanish but Quechan?)

Then there's a quote from Mark Twain, who is quoted as saying that he'd heard it was of Spanish origin.

It seems unlikely that its origin is French. It doesn't look French and it doesn't appear in the Hachette Oxford Grand Dictionnaire. The article List_of_English_words_of_Quechuan_origin says that the word is Quechan and was adopted by U.S. English speakers via French Creole. (Note that saying it was used by French Creole speakers doesn't make it French any more than words used by pidgin speakers qualify as English words.)

This text gives no clear guidance on what the etymology of the word is. But the information available in various articles suggests that it may be a Quechan word, adopted by Creole and thence into English. It may also be the case that Mark Twain, famous and interesting as he may be, is wrong to surmise that it may be Spanish.

This article needs someone who knows the true story, and can provide the sources to back it up, to do a comprehensive rewrite. Adrian Robson 17:56, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

The word "lagniappe" is an English word used in Lousiana and Mississippi (reference American Heritage Dictionary). "Yapay" is a Quechua verb that is still used today (http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/translation/quechua/yapay). The Spanish conquered the Incas and established an important presence in Peru (centuries later gold is still being exported). In 1763 Lousiana was ceded to the Spanish. (No references for the last two statements, but look in a history book). So "lagniappe" is a word that comes from Quechua and entered the English language in a multilingual port city. I don't know its history in Trinidad but it could be very similar. The quote from Mark Twain is very interesting because over a hundred years later his description of the word's use could be translated into Spanish and used to describe scenes in the altiplano of Peru. (No reference for this except personal experience as a Louisiana native who has lived in the Andes for five years)


As the preceding comments are old would there be any objection to deleting or achiving them? Another question: since the Trinidadian usage of lagniappe is identical to its use in the US is there any non-political reason to make the distinction of it being used in the Trinidadian dialect. This is something that multiple cultures have in common. Why not say that it is used in Trinidad (the beautiful place) just like it is in New Orleans, that both cultures practice reciprocity and so readily adopted the term. There are also references that call lagniappe a "yatspeak" word; that it is a feature of the New Orleans "dialect". However to include such references would only confuse the reader and cause an unnecessary division. Consider the following quote:

"It is a fact that ‘Traditionally, most people have

regarded languages as ethnic and communicative monoliths, regardless of any regional or other differences between them. By and large we tend to think “to each nation its language”’ (McArthur, 1998:32) This partially explains the Caribbean mindset. Speakers regard the Creole as their own language and the Standard as the property of the British and the American, especially since Anglophone Caribbean territories all passed through stages of being colonized by the

British." (English Today 80, Vol. 20, No. 4 (October 2004). © 2004 Cambridge University Press)

Al Ong 22:20, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

By all means archive my comments from last September - they've now all been satisfactorily dealt with through the recent thoughtful editing which makes me feel much happier about the article. Adrian Robson 23:45, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Someone changes Lousiana creole to Louisiana - I don't know why, I have just maintained the thing of which I can speak with confidence - that it is part of TCE. If people who know better want to change Lousiana creole to just Louisiana, I can't say much one way or the other. Guettarda 02:38, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Louisana Creole is the same as Louisiana French or Cajun French. This article is presumably about the English word since it is part of an English encyclopedia. Saying that lagniappe is used in Louisiana tells where the English word is used. Saying it is used in Louisiana Creole tells that another language uses the same word. No one doubts that "lagniappe" is used in Trinidad. We just need sources to show that it has a distinct history from that of the Standard English word. Al Ong 05:06, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
What do you mean by "standard English word"? At least in Trinidad it isn't considered Standard English - like much of Trinidadian usage, it entered Trinidadian English usage from Trinidadian Creole French usage (which was the dominant language until early in the 20th century). While I have no idea what the original source of the word is in Trinidad, the proximal source is clearly French patois. Guettarda 13:47, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
What I mean by "Standard English" is partially explained in the quote from English Today. For more info look up the article. The main idea is that most articles in Wikipedia don't have to explain that a word being discussed is from another language. The English version of Wikipedia explains English words. Either lagniappe is an English word that should be explained in a main article or it is a word from another language that should be explained in an article about that language. It is true that most articles have a bias toward American English as I am sure British readers have observed. However if you want to consider a word that you say isn't Standard English, has a separate history from the American English word, and has a unique meaning in Trinidad, I really have no objection as long as you provide sources for your statements and do so in a separate section so that readers can understand the differences. Al Ong 17:13, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I never said anything of the sort. I strongly suspect that the origin is common in Trinidad and Louisiana - that the word went from Quechua to Spanish to Caribbean Creole French. The article has been recently altered to say "The Spanish Empire for a time also included Louisiana so there was a Spanish presence in New Orleans. In New Orleans the word seems to have entered the English and Cajun French languages.[1]" - which strikes me as conjecture (and which is not supported by the citation, which is, in any case, only answers.com. To posit separate transitions from Spanish to creole French in Louisiana and Trinidad is less parsimonious than to posit a single transition from Spanish to creole French, and subsequent spread throughout the Francophone Caribbean (which at the time included both Lousiana and Trinidad) or a single source for both in the creole of pre-revolutionary St. Domingue (now Haiti), since many planters (and their slaves) who fled the Haitian revolution ended in Trinidad or Lousiana. Granted, this is just conjecture, but so is the material currently in the article. It'd easy enough for a scholar to verify (for example, does the word show up in creole French in Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia; at what point is it first recorded, etc.), but beyond the scope of this article. I am not saying Trinidadian usage is distinct - I believe that it is not. The article suggests that it is, but I believe that to be conjecture. Guettarda 17:50, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I think you are finally stopping to think about what I've been saying, and I agree the article needs better citations. I agree with everything in your last comment. It is interesting that the quotation of Mark Twain correctly makes the connection to Spanish in New Orleans while the word is considered of French origin in Trinidad. The link to Spanish could just as easily have occurred in Haiti or Trinidad, but I can't find any reference (scholarly or not) to suggest that it did. Al Ong 19:07, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry if my comments sounded like I was arguing another side - I wasn't. While a Spanish connection is necessary to get from Peru to the Caribbean, my gut feeling is that the transition to creole French comes before Louisiana. The spelling requires that it must have passed through French before getting to English (though I doubt anyone is suggesting otherwise). If it were present in Louisiana alone, or in Trinidad alone, either place has adequate Spanish history to make make the transition (both were French-speaking colonies under Spanish rule at the end of the 18th century). Being present in both places, its's more parsimonious to suggest a common origin. But, of course, my main point is that the article should not speculate, and at present it does. Guettarda 20:07, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Lagniappe is not from new orleans and do not change the article David Harman is wrong

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 04:36, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Dictionary page?[edit]

By what I can tell, this article does not at any point discuss the concept itself, but solely the word. According to WP:DICTIONARY, should this be converted over to wiktionary? Pyrosim 06:33, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Prepare for Slashdotters[edit]

This word was recently used in a Slashdot article, and this particular word was highlighted by several readers. Don't be surprised if there are a few vandalisms (as well as positive edits) over the next day or so. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:55, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Antiquarian booksellers[edit]

Antiquarian booksellers ≠ tribe. That citation would be a help. Eagleapex (talk) 01:19, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Southeast Asia[edit]

Another confusing aspect in this article is the mention of Southeast Asia followed by a mention of the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. Choonga, while an interesting word to know, has nothing to do with a lagniappe. Furthermore, the Punjab is not in Southeast Asia but South Asia. It seems that these confusing sentences be either removed or rewritten. Tropbavard (talk) 13:57, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Expected, unexpected -- someone knowledgeable is needed to clarify[edit]

Along with the other confusions noted here...the introduction says this:

Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chillies or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase. In Louisiana, the custom has become a traditional gracious gesture, with the bonus typically unexpected — a 'little something extra' not expected or demanded.

So, in quick succession, we call it "expected" once, as well as "traditional", and "not expected / unexpected" twice. Later, the article refers to buyers asking for lagniappe, so there goes "not demanded", too.

This may have a shade of truth if you are familiar with the practice, but that's not sufficient. It's inadequate and senseless as an explanation. I decided to cut the second sentence, and if anyone can add something comprehensible about this, with sources, please do. Ale And Quail (talk) 01:33, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Other Usage[edit]

Paul Prudhomme, the famous New Orleans creole chef, uses the term in his cookbook to refer to extra tips / stories he appends to certain recipes. He translates it as "something extra" just as with the physical bonus item for a consumer, but he is using it to refer to something that isn't physical suggesting the possible usage of the word is somewhat broader than the article suggests. Thoughts? 12 Sept 2014. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.250.80.193 (talk) 19:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)