A lagniappe is a bonus, a complimentary gift. Usually, a lagniappe is a bonus that a merchant gives to a customer in gratitude for his business. Lagniappe is an American word, originating in New Orleans, Louisiana. Today, the term lagniappe is mostly used in the Gulf Coast region, which are American states that are situated on the Gulf of Mexico. The word lagniappe is a Louisiana French adaptation of a Quechua word that the Spanish Creoles brought to New Orleans. The Quechua word is yapay, which means to add or increase. Yapay was altered by the Spanish into la ñapa, and then by the French into la gniappe, which is now spelled as one word.
Instead it’s a lagniappe, a parting gift to readers, filled with strong characters and written in the author’s spare, evocative style. (The Denver Post)
Happily, the banana became my lagniappe, my “little something extra.” (The Sun Herald)
Even Cracker Barrel is jumping into the Easter fray, and will sell you a whole dang meal, ham and all, plus a heaping helping of ideas on what to do with any leftovers, which I have to admit is a nice, value-added lagniappe for the cooking challenged. (The Tennessean)
Lagniappe is a popular Louisiana French word for an unexpected gift—the extra donut when you ordered a dozen, the Champagne and roses left in your honeymoon suite, or even finding out that your “bags fly free” when you’re checking in with Southwest Airlines. (The Jackson Free Press)
But according to the commission’s report, another OIG investigator later interviewed the owner of KJean’s who said he gave Boudreaux a bag of free shrimp as “lagniappe in appreciation of their business and because they were in the law enforcement field.” (The New Orleans Times-Picayune)