1. 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.
2. a gratuity or tip.
3. an unexpected or indirect benefit.
We picked up one excellent word—a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get; a nice limber, expressive, handy word—’ lagniappe. ‘
— Mark Twain , Life on the Mississippi , 1883
” Lagniappe !” I screamed the word. The old Creole word they used in New Orleans when they want a little extra; a bonus of croissants, a few additional carrots dumped into the shopping bag, a baker’s dozen, a larger portion of clams or crabs or shrimp.
— Harlan Ellison , “On the Downhill Side,” Deathbird Stories , 1975
Lagniappe , also spelled lagnappe , is an Americanism that entered English in the mid-19th century. It is thought to be a variant of the Spanish term la napa , which can be traced to the Quecha word yapa .