"We picked up one excellent word -- a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word -- 'lagniappe.' They pronounce it lanny- yap. It is Spanish -- so they said." [Mark Twain, "Life on the Mississippi"]
la·gniappe - (lan-yap)
–noun Chiefly Southern Louisiana and Southeast Texas . a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus
So....are y'all startin' to get the idea of my "X" word - X is for XTRA or down around Sugar Magnolia parts...lagniappe. Lagniappe is that little somethin' extra that you give that is not required. Often times merchants down South Louisiana and Mississippi way give a little something extra as a way of saying thanks to their customers.
It is a common belief among Southerners that you get what you give. You will not find any more generous people in the whole wide world as you will find in the South. Hospitality is our middle name. We might not have two pennies to rub together, but whatever we have, we share. When times are plenty, we share. When times are lean, we share. I remember my grandfather, Charles Causey, used to grow acres and acres of vegetables every summer, far more than he needed. Once I asked him, "Pa-pa, why do you grow so MUCH?" His answer was, "Because somebody will need it, like the widows at the church. They don't have anybody to grow a garden for them. Or that new young couple that moved in over the hill there. Somebody will need it and I can share it." My grandfather was such a beautiful soul. I miss him so much.
During my growing up years I was pretty much taught that if someone asks you to do something for them, or you are providing a service for someone, don't just do what is required...go that XTRA mile. If you're picking some beans for your Granny, go ahead and shell them for her too. No, Granny didn't ask you to shell them, only to pick them BUT, it's that little something EXTRA that makes all the difference. It makes people feel special, makes 'em feel loved. I remember an old Southern Baptist preacher telling me once, "You can't out give God. You get what you put out there." Lagniappe, a beautiful, generous word. Try it out! You might be surprised what comes back to ya! Sugar Magnolia wouldn't steer ya wrong:)