Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Does Common Courtesy Extend to Inanimate Drivers?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I always bring a little something with me when I am invited over, either something generic like flowers or homemade bread, or something specific like wine or cigars if I know someone's tastes.

But in this day and age, it seems odd to refer to these things as "hostess gifts."

Some of my friends are single gentlemen who live alone. Some are partnered gentlemen couples. And among my partnered opposite sex friends are two couples where the male member is the one who excels at party planning and entertaining. 

Is there a more gender-neutral name for this token of appreciation for hospitality? "Host gift" doesn't roll off the tongue in quite the same way.

GENTLE READER: Why would you roll out any such term? Miss Manners hopes you haven't been telling ladies, "Here, I brought you a hostess gift," thus making it sound as if you are paying a tax. Just hand it to the person who is entertaining you.