Hello all, sorry I’ve been out all week. Sometimes I’m in a rut where thoughts just keep coming and I actually want to write a daily post. Other times, burnout ensues, the muse rests, or life in the real world calls, and I don’t post for a week or more (semi-regular TWIM readers are probably familiar with my sporadic blogging style, but I figured I’d explain myself for new readers). I realize “blogging experts” suggest daily posts to maximize traffic, but that strategy seems geared to bloggers who value traffic over genuine inspiration–and I’m not one of them. Why force creativity? If I don’t have anything to say, I’m not going to waste our time. Nonetheless, I assure you I’ll be catching up on the many thought-provoking comments left as of late, and I want to thank everybody for their participation. Today, I just wanted to post a quick something related to language.
Have you ever heard the term Indian giver? Online etymologies say the phrase refers to somebody who gives a gift with intent to take it back. Though I’d heard this phrase my entire life, only lately did I begin to question it. The phrase obviously implies dishonesty or deceit on behalf of the giver–in this case, the Native American–and, as someone with Blackfoot blood, I wondered if this had any basis in reality. As with most claims, there is debate, but as far as dishonesty and deceit go, what of the alleged small-pox-laden blankets “gifted” to Native Americans? Sure, scholars, historians and laymen debate whether this biological warfare ever *actually* occurred, but if it did, how much more deceitful could one possibly get? I wonder if Native Americans have any trite phrases to describe someone who would “gift” such a thing?
What about you? Had you ever heard anybody use the phrase? Did you give it any thought? If so, did you chalk it up to racism, or just plain thoughtlessness?