A person who gives a gift, (literal or figurative) and then later takes or wants it back.

This is NOT a nice thing to do!!
"Here i got you this bottle of water."
"Oh, hey thank you."
"I want it back now..."
"Hmm...curious, what does that tell me? You are an Indian-giver. "
by Joseph Edward Dedick November 22, 2011
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Indian Giver
There are two popular etymologies for this term for a person who gives a gift only to later demand its return. The first is that it is based on an unfair stereotype of Native Americans, that they don't keep their word. In the other popular explanation, the term doesn't cast aspersions on Native Americans, instead it echoes the broken promises the whites made to the Indians. Neither is accurate, although the first is closer to the truth.
Instead the term comes from different commercial practices. To the Native Americans, who had no concept of money or currency, gifts were a form of trade goods, of exchange. One didn't give a gift without expecting one of equivalent value in return. If one could not offer an equivalent return gift, the original gift would be refused or returned. To the Europeans, who with their monetary-based trade practices, this seemed low and insulting, gifts were not for trade but were to be freely given.

The noun Indian gift dates to 1765. Indian giver follows about a century later in 1865. Originally, these reflected simply the expectation of a return gift. By the 1890s, the sense had shifted to mean one who demands a gift back.
by Divaznc1 June 22, 2004
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A person who gives someone something, then wants it back!
Knoller loves to be an indian giver.
by John January 24, 2005
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Someone who gives a gift and asks for it to be returned.

Based on the observation by European colonialists that native Americans would, by tradition, give a gift as a signal for something more significant in return. Interpreted negatively, leading the word "Indian" to mean false (e.g. Indian summer).
Girl in foyer: You gave me the necklace and now you want it back? You Indian giver!

Guy on porch: You know, the origin of the word "Indian giver" comes from ...

*Door slams*
by AbnormalBoy May 25, 2004
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someone who gives something they have away, then asks for it back,a short time later
cherie "you can have one of these bangles michael"
michael "ok"
2 days later
cherie "can i have that back"
michael "indian giver"
by cheriẹ July 5, 2005
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To give something to someone and then take it back.

As in, giving some unwanted land to the Native Americans (or Indians), finding that the land contains gold, and then taking it back.

At least, that's what I was taught. None of the other definitions on here seem to follow this route, but surely my explanation makes the most sense?!
Jade: Here, you can have this cake, I don't like nuts.

Leah: Cheers. Hey, they're not nuts, they're chocolate chips. Mmmm...

Jade: Can I have it back? It was mine first.

Leah: Fucking Indian giver...
by Sopheeee June 5, 2005
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A person who gives someone something, then takes it back!
Ur such an indian giver!
by Anonymous April 3, 2003
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