Origin of the word tip

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The origin of the word tip is one where difficult to guess. After all, the word also appears in different languages, but under a different name. Use the English Tip and the Germans speak of tip. When hearing the word tip, some might take a strange face. The Netherlands simply has a reputation when the Public Prosecution Service arrives.

It is also not always common to leave some extra money for the other person. Especially due to the switch to electronic payment, the image of a jar with tip at the counter has become increasingly rare.

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The word tip as drinking money

Fortunately, giving a tip as a thank you for a service that someone grants does not yet disappear from the streets. It is mainly American to do this on the terrace on a warm summer evening. A place where a lot is drunk. Many explanations for the word are that it is drinking money. A little extra for someone to buy a drink, or maybe take a gamble. The German tip Literally referred to this. But tip, however, is a completely different word. So how exactly did it arise?

Via Latin

According to linguist, the origin of the word tip lies in Latin. This would be about the Latin word via. In Italy this word often occurs in street names. via means "gone." The word blew over to USA where the American took over way. In addition to "road", it has another meaning in American, namely "journey". In the Netherlands we then took over that word. via became way, in way Was tip. This shows how languages influence each other and how languages are constantly developing.

A sleeve as a tip

Many Italian words echo the Roman after. via So occurs multiple in Italy. Yet this is not the Italian word for tip. Which is in fact some. This does not have its origins in Latin, but in the American word for sleeve (some). This dates from the time of knights and young people. Women removed a sleeve from their dress. The knights played in tournaments and matches. The woman gave her sleeve to the winning knight, or possibly a knight who was her favorite. This was a symbolic recognition. The sleeve of the lady was actually also a kind of tip for De Ridder.

Tip in writing

To determine the origin, it is useful to look at old scriptures that mention the word tip. The term drinking money occurs in many stories about the history of the word. The American word way was therefore taken over by American. In the 14e century this was in the form of the words toss in voy. At the end of the 16e century this was to toss in foye changed. Not long after, the word also dived foij on. This was not very far away from the word tip as we know it now.

A Rotterdam tip

1650 is the first year that the word tip appears in written form. It occurs in a few poems by Joannes Six van Chandelier. A mention of the word that arouses more is in the book "Origin and interpretation of proverbs. " This is written by Carolus Tuinman and dates from 1726. He is talking about the term "Rotterdam tip" in the book. Hereby he gives the meaning of getting blows during a fight. He also gives an extensive explanation of the word in relation to alcohol. With the saying "do a farewell drink and drink the tip"He makes references to a good journey and the drinking money.


Of the American word way we get the meaning of the journey. There are claims that the tip is related to something that was given during a farewell. This can be a meal, drink or gift for someone who went on a journey. One of the things that someone received was sometimes also money. This could also be drinking money.

Later the part of the journey was left out of the significance and it mainly referred to money to drink with. This money would be as a reward for a messenger or courier after delivering an order. They received a small amount to have a drink after work.

Stories about TIP

The question is whether this is really true. There are no clear sources for it. However, the search for the origin of the word tip yields good stories. Similarly the story about the castlein in London. According to a legend, he had at the end of 18e century put a pot on the bar. The words were on the pot "to insure promptness’ engraved. To be served faster, people had to throw some change in the pot. The initials of the words on the pot formed a new word: Tip.

Tip and tip

As with so many good stories, it probably didn't go that way. The origin of the word Tip is not with the first letters of "to insure promptness. " A more reliable source, the Oxford Etymological Dictionary, lays down the origin somewhere else. The word tip would come from the slums of old London. There scammers, beggars and thieves gave each other tips, as in advice, in exchange for money.

This happened a long time ago. Already in 1610 there was a text with this description. So the English use the word tip instead of tip. They now have the same meaning, but they have emerged in a different way. Behind both lies an interesting story.

A jar of tip

The origin of the word tip therefore has a connection with drinking money. So how did it come to cafes and restaurants? Is it the intention that the employees of the café after serving will drink en masse with the change received? Around 1900 the giving in Paris became more and more normal. It was customary to give a small amount if you were satisfied with the quality of the service.

They had known the connection with drink money for some time. This has the name tips, this roughly translates to "for drinking". In the 16e century this was given to subordinates. The subordinates then received the message that they had to drink one on the health of the well -to -do. Incidentally, there are several historians who are the origin of the tip with serfs. This would have been created towards the end of the Middle Ages.

On health

Giving tip to serfs and subordinates with the message to be toast to the ruler, sounds rude. Almost as if at that time was giving drinking money from a certain kind of feeling of self -interest. The entire concept of tips was not immediately accepted everywhere. Even in the present people still have problems with it.

When it overstream from Europe to the United States, there was a lot of resistance to the concept. Many even hated it. Around 1900 there was even an anti -tip association that knew more than 100,000 members. In the end, giving tips there became more and more common. And in many states it even became necessary.

Make money with tips

In many parts of Europe there was soon an appropriate minimum income for people who worked in the hospitality industry. Giving tips was still polite, but it was no longer necessary to guarantee income from employees. A little extra is of course a nice gesture, especially if the service is satisfactory.

There are other customs per country when it comes to giving tip. However, in America it plays a greater role. Many catering establishments give a very low income to, for example, bartenders and waitresses. The majority of their income then come from tips. Not every state does this by the way. In states such as California and Nevada it is mandatory to give a minimum wage.

Fuss around tips

A system where an employee depends on tips does not like everyone. There are even regular discussions about it. According to sociologists, these are mainly functions that have low social status. The stigma that this is the low -skilled who are less socio -economic is mentioned multiple in the discussion. It causes a lot of uncertainty if you depend on tips. After all, there is no guarantee that you will also receive a nice amount.

If the minimum income for these people were going up, then the quality of their lives would also rise. The sentiment of many is not that you should never give a tip. It is about measuring that when someone provides a service, this person should not depend on the tip.

Good service

More than five years ago, the discussion about the abolition of tips was also conducted in the casinos of Las Vegas. There are many people who tip the croupier after a successful evening. There are probably people who think this brings happiness. Studies also show that giving a tip is related to the service that is provided.

For example, factors such as the attractiveness of the person and the total amount of the bill influence this. The rules and customs around tips are different everywhere. It is generally considered a positive thing. Giving a extra if the service is satisfactory is a nice gesture. But when people are dependent on this, it soon becomes less positive.


The origin of the word tip can therefore be deduced from the Latin word via. This word was taken over by the American and changed to way. This in turn was absorbed by American and eventually the word tip arose. The meaning of the word was also slightly adjusted every time. In Latin it just meant "gone". The American also added the meaning of "journey".

Traditionally, the word has a connection with Drinkgeld. For example, someone was given to someone for a drink. Often with the message to drink on the health of the giver. Nowadays it still exists, like in the hospitality industry. But also in one American Casino Can be tipped. It is therefore a great tip to reward a good service with a tip.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the word tip?

The origin of the word tip lies in Latin. In Latin the word via Used to indicate a road. Like many others, the American also recorded Latin in their language. She changed the word to way And added the meaning of journey. This was then absorbed by American. After spellings as foye in Fooij, so it eventually became the word tip.

What does tip mean?

A tip is an extra gift to thank someone for his services. This is often in the form of money. Traditionally it has connections with travel and drinks. For example, it would be customary to give someone a gift before this person left on a trip. Giving money as a drink money was also something that often occurred. Someone then got an amount with the idea that they could get a drink from it.

What is the difference between tip and tip?

Used the word tip in the Netherlands. In England they know the meaning of this, but not the word. They use the word Tip. The term also comes in America and USA Tip in front of. Historians say that it originated in the slums of London. Giving tips (information and advice) was rewarded there with giving money.

Do you have to tip?

Giving tips is generally not mandatory. Certainly with the electronic payment, the classic image of a fooipotje is blurred. It also differs per service and the size of the amount. It is often a nice symbol to give some extras. Other countries have their own customs and rules when it comes to tip. In the United States, employees often depend on it. Tips then ensure the majority of their income. Whether this should change is still a sensitive subject that leads to much discussion.

Can you give a tip in the casino?

It is in many casinos Possibly to tip the croupier. Not everyone will be happy with the service provided, especially if this person loses. But when winning it is a nice gesture to make. This can differ per country, it is just what the customs are.