Definition of baksheesh
: payment (such as a tip or bribe) to expedite service
baksheesh was our Word of the Day on 09/26/2011. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Baksheesh came into the English language around 1686 and was most likely picked up by British subjects as they traveled abroad. In Asia, English speakers would have heard "baksheesh" used as a word meaning "gratuity, a present of money, tip" - a meaning they directly adopted. Etymologically speaking, "baksheesh" is from Persian "bakhshīsh," which is also the source of the word buckshee, meaning "something extra obtained free," "extra rations," or "windfall, gratuity." "Buckshee" is strictly a British English term and is not used in American English.
Origin and Etymology of baksheesh
Persian bakhshīsh, from bakhshīdan to give; akin to Greek phagein to eat, Sanskrit bhajati he allots
First Known Use: 1686
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