From Academic Kids

For waste disposal areas, see Landfill.

A tip (also known as a gratuity) is that amount of payment to certain service sector professionals which is in addition to the advertised bill or fee. These payments and their size are a matter of social custom.

There are no standing rules or obligations concerning whether to tip (tip is both a noun and a verb), who to tip or how much. It varies from being considered rude to offer a tip (the other may find it degrading, as if (s)he is a beggar) to being considered very stingy not to give a tip. To give a very small tip might be considered even worse than giving nothing.

Some establishments forbid their employees to accept tips. Others pool tips and divide them to include employees who don't have customer contact. In some jurisdictions, tipped workers qualify for a lower statutory minimum wage from the employer, who must make up any deficiency in tips.

Bribery may be disguised as tipping (leading to social customs such as police officers never accepting tips to combat this pattern).

Tipping by region

In the United States and Canada, these people are likely to expect to be tipped:

As a rule, the proprietor/owner of a business would not expect an additional tip.

Gratuity is generally 15–20%. Many restaurants will automatically add an optional gratuity of around 18% to the bill for large parties (often defined as 6 or more people)—if this is done the amount should be clearly indicated on the check as a “gratuity”. In this case no additional tip need be added to the total.

In some large cities, especially New York, the staff of apartment buildings, such as building superintendents, porters, concierges and doormen, expect an annual tip from residents during the Christmas holiday season. The amount to tip varies on the occupation of the person receiving the tip and the size and wealth of the building; most residents typically budget $75 to $200 in total each year for building holiday tips. Building staff also expect tips for performing services not normally part of their jobs, such as watering a plant or running an errand.

In Sweden, a tip of the lowest denomination may be given as a sign of approval to a waiter who has given exceptionally good service, but never anything else. In Finland and Taiwan tipping is also practically unheard of except when a customer wants to show appreciation for exceptionally good service.

In Australia, tipping is not common and almost all service providers will never expect a tip. Employers (usually!) pay a sufficient wage and do not expect employees to supplement their income with tips. However, as in Sweden, in some establishments in larger cities such as Sydney or Melbourne it is possible to give a tip for good to exceptional service. It is entirely optional and a personal choice.

In the United Kingdom, tipping is an established custom but is less widespread than in the USA, and the expected percentage lower, rarely any more than 10%. Notable distinctions include pub/bar staff, where no tip is expected.

In Spain, expected tips at restaurants are usually from 5% to 10% of the total amount.


The Oxford English Dictionary states that it is derived from the English thieves' slang word tip, meaning “to pass from one to another”. The notion of a stock tip or racing tip is from the same slang.

Another possible source for this term is a concept from Judaism that it is a chiyuv (obligation) for a seller to "tip the scales" in favor of the customer. The Torah says, "Nosen lo girumov (Give to him a tip)." For example, if your customer has asked for three pounds of onions, you should measure out the three pounds plus one extra onion, tipping the scale in his favor [1] (

An urban legend states that the word "tip" is an acronym for terms such as "to insure prompt service" and "to insure promptness". However, this etymology contradicts the Oxford English Dictionary. [2] (

External links

de:Trinkgeld ja:チップ (サービス)


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