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Is Regifting Rude?

 Regifters shouldn't be shunned -- as long as they follow the rules.

By
Richie Frieman,
December 19, 2011
Episode #182

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The audio edition of this episode is a joint podcast with Grammar Girl. Read what she had to say about using “gifting” as a verb to mean “giving.” 

It’s the holidays, which means I’m receiving loads of questions about the etiquette of regifting. While speaking with my fellow Quick and Dirty Tips host, Grammar Girl, we agreed that regifting during the holidays is a topic of conversation not only for grammar but also for manners. So, when you open up that half eaten can of popcorn or receive something with another person’s name embossed on it, you can be sure that you’re the victim of regifting. However, I am here to say that not all regifting is bad. In fact, it can be a very good way to celebrate the holidays. 

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So, with that, don’t throw away that six-pack of beer you just unwrapped with only 4 cans left – crack it open and enjoy my tips for regifting:

The Seinfeld Connection

Grammar Girl says that the word “gifting” was mostly limited to tax conversations until a 1995 episode of Seinfeld called "The Label Maker." In this episode, Elaine referred to a minor character as a "regifter." And now, regifting is the reigning world champion topic of holiday etiquette! After that Seinfeld episode, it seems people started using “gift” as a verb more. Check out Grammar Girl’s episode on the correctness of using “gift” as a verb. 

I think regifting is the biggest holiday manners issue because of the way people regift, not the actual regifting itself.  

Here’s an instance of bad regifting: Let’s say I get 5 boxes of candy as gifts before Christmas. Is it OK for me to give one of those unopened boxes to someone else? I’m never going to eat them all. Would it make me a horribly rude regifter?

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