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By Laura K. Lawless, About.com GuideDecember 23, 2012
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In Louisiana, and probably other places, we used the expression “c’est lagniappe”.
ils auraient aussi pu dire: “en Californie, voter c’est du gâteau” (c’est facile) whouah whouah whouah!
When did the expression “c’est cadeau” become popular? I lived in France until 1976, I don’t remember ever hearing it.
I bought a piece of furniture and a small framed print in a shop, and in a confused way I learned the meaning of this phrase. I thought the shop owner was asking me if the print was a gift for someone. I soon realised it was a gift from the shop to me. No charge for the language lesson either.
I live in France and I have also heard this expression with the meaning “it’s given”, “it’s easy”. When you can do something with no difficulty, it is as if someone made it easy for you, and that would be their gift.
Michèle, it’s really a slang expression, not really widespread. Some people rarely say it, myself, I rarely even never do. But it’s interesting to know it.
c’est intéressant merci beaucoup.
Actually this expression is now very common among young french people (I can tell because I belong to this group) but mainly in an ironical way. For example, something bad happens to you, you will say “c’est cadeau”, meaning sarcastically that you didn’t need this to happen. That’s the idea of a present you’ve been forced into accepting since you didn’t need it.
You can say “Tiens, c’est cadeau !” to give something away and make it clear you haven’t bought it for the occasion. Another form is to just say “Cadeau !” as you’re handing the gift .
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