Monday, January 19th — Tip

January 20, 2009

Today I Learned…

…where the term “tip” comes from.  It is /not/, as my coworker Livy insisted, an acronym for “to insure promptness.”  This is probably a backronym of some kind (and incorrect, as it does not use the grammatically correct “ensure”).  According to Wikipedia, the word comes from the 16th century German verb tip, which meant “to give, hand, or pass” and “to tap.”

Also interesting is that the current German word for a tip is the unrelated word Trinkgeld, which literally translates to “drink money.”  That’s exactly what many of us are using it for.

For more info, and information on tipping customs around the world, check out the Wikipedia article.

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3 Responses to “Monday, January 19th — Tip”

  1. Shawna S Says:

    Either ensure or insure is appropriate, actually. You just couldn’t “ensure your car against damage”.

  2. Alex Says:

    “Support our chemical habits: please tip generously.”

    “Tipping: because baristas need liquor too.”

    “Non-tippers will receive a free small coffee down their pants.”

    “If you can afford our coffee, you can afford a tip.”

    “Please donate to the T.I.P. Fund for underprivileged workers.”

  3. Alex Says:

    I got one more.

    “If you can dodge a wrench, you don’t need to tip.”


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