Have you heard about “searcy gifts” and wounder what it is? At least I have! So I decided to find out. This is what I found.
So, what is a search gift? A search gift is a small and unexpected gift. The gift can be offered to friends, neighbors, and relatives. It is a way to express your affection. A small, unexpected present to make someone feel unique and cherished.
Where does the name Searcy come from?
Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, a wave of migration brought the name Searcy to England. Essex was the home of the Searcy family. On the other hand, their surname is a connection to St. Saire, Normandy, where the family lived before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
What is a Searcy gift?
A Searcy is a phrase used in the South to describe a small, unexpected gift. People have presented sercies to friends, neighbors, and relatives for decades to express their affection. Giving a Searcy is a sure way to make someone’s day!
The modest tokens might be an attempt to make amends for a slight, a shot at sophomoric comedy, such as giving a container of sour milk packed in an impressive box, or a stab at witty quips, such as providing a carton of sour milk packaged in remarkable packaging.
We named such a present a “sercy,” which might be written either “cerci” or “searcy.”
A small, unexpected present to make someone feel unique and cherished. This may be referred to as a “happy,” but my household has always referred to it as a “sercy.” Providing gifts is my love language, thus giving a sercy to my family and friends makes me very happy. Some of the gift messages, encouraging, kind, considerate, and caring, brought tears to my eyes. In this lovely world, there is a lot of kindness.
When I was introduced to the Searcy gift
There are several spelling possibilities because surcee is also one of those “say it out loud” words. Surcie, surcy, searcy, cercie, sirsee, circi, sursee & sircee are some more spellings.
My best friend first introduced me to “searcy” many years ago. I pretended to understand what she was saying for the longest time, but I had no idea. I just smiled and kept rolling since I had no idea why she gave various folks a searcy (whatever that was), yet she seemed to like it. God forbid I make a fool of myself in front of someone I respect.
A surcee is a phrase meaning an unexpected and considerate gift. In the South, particularly in the Carolinas, the word surcee has been passed down the centuries. A surcee does not cost a lot of money. It is the thought that counts, not the present itself. A surcee can be a light, a bottle of wine, a thoughtful gift, or a magnetic card.
Referring to “searcy,” my parents received valuable presents from their community of friends throughout the years, but most of these gifts took the form of local knowledge, friendship, potluck invites, and black walnut baked delicacies from dear neighbors. But one thing is sure: these presents came with no strings attached, and no expectations of a thank you message. They were just tokens of compassion and camaraderie. To put it another way, a searcy. This is a phrase that has its origins in Southern gentility.
Nonetheless, until it occurred to me 15 years ago, a searcy had never entered my language or my existence. I do not remember the details, but I recall wondering, “What did I do to deserve this?” My first searcy was from someone who treated me more like a “friend” than a coworker, and it warmed my heart. I had been given a gift simply for being myself. A Searcy… unexpected and lovely.
The Searcy gift roots
I researched and discovered various spellings of the term (sercy, cerci, surcy). The phrase has numerous possible roots, all from the South. The concept is the same no matter how we spell it: an unexpected present with no conditions attached, given to express affection, or to say something that reminded me of you or I was starting to think of you.
It’s a fantastic notion, and while most people haven’t heard of it, they’ve either experienced it or participated in it through a “just because” or “pay it forward” gift or gesture. Who doesn’t like getting a pleasant surprise out of the blue? Although the activity appears to be straightforward regardless of your geographic origins, the word sounds appropriate for a real Southerner to say.
Most families in this area refer to these surprise gifts as “happy.” “Here you go; we brought you a pleasure,” friends remark when they visit you. It may be anything from a fresh dishtowel to a delicious homegrown tomato to a newspaper cartoon (yes, people still do that & I find it charming).
My family’s “S” might have come from the term “sirsee,” which is frequently spelt “surcy,” “cerci,” or “search.”
SueEllen Sarah Searcy
SueEllen Sarah Searcy, who married into the Searcy family, was the authority. She said that her Louisiana in-laws would never use the phrase “Searcy,” preferring instead to give her something called “lagniappe,” which means “a little more.” Let Louisiana be the one to break the mold.
Surcy is most commonly heard in North Georgia and the Carolinas, although it has also been heard in Alabama and Oklahoma. I discovered that the term “souci” comes from the French word “souci,” which means “to take care” or “to go to the trouble.” It was passed down to Scotland, becoming “sussie” over time. Is that the enigmatic “S” from my Scottish grandmother’s side of the family? “Oh, your foot in a bandbox!” she’d add. “Oh, get out of here,” this was a joking way of saying. We had no clue what a bandbox had been and why we should put our foot in one, and when we inquired, she just laughed.
I believe that everyone enjoys receiving an “S,” “Happy,” “Searcy,” or “Lagniappe.” These tokens can range in size from a pack of gum to a handwritten poem. The emphasis of the “S” is not on the gift. The ultimate present is that you were remembered. It’s a lovely gesture of compassion to be recognized by someone.
It always makes me feel especially warm when I can assist someone in selecting that particular gift for someone who is not expecting it. It’s as though I’m privy to a small secret… I enjoy it since I am a part of the grin or hug that will be provided!
The finest joys in life are frequently found in the unexpected. So, as you go through your days, I hope you remember to be a giver and a gracious receiver!