For example, you might give a birthday gift or a wedding gift, but a gift that wasn't one of those might be a ______ gift.

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    If it wasn't prompted by any particular occasion, you could call it a spontaneous gift - or just a gift. – FumbleFingers Feb 4 '16 at 19:01
  • What if it's not spontaneous either? In the case I'm concerned with, it's prompted by a conversation, not an occasion. I want to find a word that can clarify. – skiggety Feb 4 '16 at 19:06
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    In that case, as both myself and Josh61 have suggested, it's just a gift. You surely don't suppose English is going to have different adjectives specifically for identifying gifts which were given as a result of a conversation, a thought which just occurred to the giver, guilt because you forgot to give a birthday present, etc.? Or is there some specific reason why the gift was given, that might make a difference here? – FumbleFingers Feb 4 '16 at 19:20
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    skiggety: Actually, I quite like impromptu gift for your context. I know it's not the "real" etymology, but for me it definitely has echoes of not prompted / occasioned by anything specific. – FumbleFingers Feb 4 '16 at 21:07
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    My wife's grandmother called those "happy day gifts". She wasn't fond of planning to give something on a special occasion; she'd rather find the happenstance perfect things and then give them as she found them. We still do that in our family. :) – Tim Ward Feb 5 '16 at 3:29

What about saying it was an "ad hoc" gift?

The adjective ad hoc means:

made or done without planning because of an immediate need


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    Hi, uklancs. Welcome to English Language and Usage. We encourage answers with a link/research/reference that can support your explanation. Your original post was too short and it could be flagged for its length. I edited your post and see how it was done (by clicking on edited X minutes ago above my username). Please try to follow the format. Good luck. – user140086 Feb 5 '16 at 3:25

Just a gift:

  • only, ​simply.

(Cambridge Dictionary)


After some more time with search engines and thesauri, I think I answered my own question:



Not occasioned, without occasion or cause.


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    Just be aware that the term is not common. I've never heard of an "unoccasioned gift." – user66974 Feb 4 '16 at 21:43

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