Indian giver


      • to take back a gift or favor that was given
        to describe someone who gives something and then takes it back

      • someone who is indecisive or changes their mind frequently
        to describe someone who cannot make up their mind or keeps changing their decisions

    Examples of Indian giver

    • Jane offered Tom a gift, but then changed her mind and took it back, saying, "I think I want this for myself."

      In this context, "Indian giver" is a derogatory term sometimes used to describe someone who gives a gift and then takes it back. The term "Indian giver" is considered outdated and insensitive by many people because it perpetuates negative stereotypes of Native Americans. It's best to avoid using this term altogether and instead choose a more appropriate phrase to describe similar situations, such as "changed their mind" or "took back the gift."

    • Sarah lent James her car, but then demanded it back before he had a chance to return it, saying, "I need my car tonight. Give it back to me now."

      In this example, "Indian giver" can still be used to describe the situation, but as mentioned, it's best to avoid using this term if possible. An alternative way to describe this scenario would be to say, "Sarah asked James to return her car to her before he had a chance to return it."

    • The man at the flea market sold Brian a used item, but then asked for it back, saying, "I made a mistake. I want to buy it back from you."

      In this example, "Indian giver" can't be used because the initial transaction was completed. If someone buys something from a seller and then returns it, it's called "returning" or "exchanging" the item rather than "giving" it back.

    • Lisa offered Tom a cookie, but then snatched it back, saying, "Never mind. I changed my mind."

      In this scenario, it would be more appropriate to say, "Lisa decided not to give Tom the cookie after all." While "Indian giver" could technically apply to this situation, it's not commonly used in this context.

    • Mary gave me a gift for my birthday, but then she suddenly asked for it back and claimed that it was actually a loan.

      This is an example of the idiom "Indian giver" which refers to a situation where someone gives an item as a gift, but then takes it back without providing a valid reason. This idiom originated from the North American Native American communities, where it was common for gifts to be given and then taken back for various reasons.

    • My friend promised to let me borrow his car for the weekend, but then he changed his mind and asked me to return it earlier than agreed.

      Here, the idiom "Indian giver" is being used to describe a situation where someone gives permission or an item, only to take it back later. This situation could be frustrating and confusing, as the person receiving the initial gift or permission may not have expected the item or permission to be taken back.

    • The salesperson sold me a product and then suddenly changed his mind and asked for it back, claiming that there was a mistake in the price.

      This example represents another situation where the idiom "Indian giver" is used. Here, the salesperson initially sold the product, but then changed his mind and claimed that there was a mistake in the price, leading to a situation where the product was essentially being given and then taken back.

    • Our boss asked us to complete a project by a certain deadline, but then a few days before the deadline, he changed his mind and asked us to return the project, claiming that it would be better to start again.

      This is a situation where the idiom "Indian giver" is used to describe a scenario where a person initially gives permission or asks for something, but then takes it back without a valid reason. In this case, the boss originally asked the team to complete the project, but then changed his mind and asked them to take it back, leading to confusion and frustration.


    The idiom "Indian giver" is considered offensive and should be avoided. It originated from a misunderstanding of Native American customs and perpetuates negative stereotypes. It is important to use language that is respectful and inclusive to all cultures.

    Origin of "Indian giver"

    The phrase "Indian giver" is believed to have originated from early European settlers in America, who misunderstood the customs of Native American tribes. The settlers observed that Native Americans would give gifts and then sometimes ask for them back, which they interpreted as a lack of gratitude or dishonesty. This misunderstanding led to the creation of the idiom "Indian giver" to describe someone who takes back a gift after giving it.

    It is important to recognize that this idiom is derogatory and perpetuates negative stereotypes about Native Americans. It is best to avoid using it and instead choose language that is respectful and inclusive. Examples of alternative phrases include "retract a gift" or "change one's mind about a favor."