In sports, a deflection or tap of the ball, puck, etc., especially one that scores a goal.

It has been suggested that "tips" is an acronym for "To Insure Proper Service" (Or "Prompt" instead of "Proper"). This is what's known as folk etymology, or the result of people trying to derive the origin of a word without the proper background of knowledge to work from. A moment's thought will show that, since you give a tip after a meal, not before, this supposed origin is nonsensical. The actual origin is unknown, but one source suggests that it may be a derivation from an old "rogues' cant" where "tip" meant to "touch lightly."

The current usage of "tip," giving money for good service, has been in use for several centuries.

Had to refresh my memory on this by checking in The Dictionary of Misinformation, by Tom Burnam, 1977, Ballantine Books, ISBN 345-25453-8-195, which I recommend to anyone who likes reading about urban legends, common fallacies, and other corrections of misinformation.

As Nekojin points out, it is quite likely that the significance of the word "tips" is not derived from the phrase "to insure proper service" - it's etymology most likely lies in a more mundane explanation:

With reference to Webster 1913's entry, the phrase "to tip the wink" uses the word "tip" to mean "to give". Along the same lines, a commonly used phrase in Britain was "to tip up" for something, such as a round of drinks for example. This also means "to give" or "to pay".

It is believed that the use of the English word "tip" to mean "gift" is derived from the Latin word stipis, which means "gift".

See: stipend

to tip

To give or lend.
Tip me your daddle ; give me your hand.

Tip me a hog ; give me a shilling.
To tip the lion ; to flatten a man's nose with the thumb, and, at the same time to extend his mouth, with the fingers, thereby giving him a sort of lion-like countenauce.

To tip the velvet ; tonguing woman.

To tip all nine ; to knock down all the nine pins at once, at the game of bows or skittles : tipping, at these gaines, is slightly touching the tops of the pins with the bowl.

Tip ; a draught; don't spoil his tip.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

The tip is the most sensitive, and in many respects, the most important part of the penis. Examples of its importance include the fact that the tip is the part that received the bulk of attention while being the recipient of oral sex given by a woman (or, hey, by a dude) who can't take it farther than that without gagging. It is, as well, the ultimate nozzle on the urinary firehose (technically called the external urethral orifice).

It is somewhat fortunate, then, that it is biologically impossible to have a penis without a tip. Evolutionary biology reveals that the earliest penises in the animal kingdom had tips. Even if you were to chop off the tip, whatever was left after the chop would be the new tip, although it would nowhere near as effective or pleasant of a tip as the one that the your penis came with. Unless, naturally, you were to chop off the entire thing, but then you wouldn't have a penis without a tip; instead, you would just have no penis. Note that if you are a girl, you already have no penis. Your vagina, in that case, doesn't have a "tip" -- I mean, what would it be? The clitoris? The most extensive protrusion of the labia? This is a question which demands far more extensive study, beginning immediately.


A fellow noder wisely opines upon my medical error as to the chopping-of-it-off: "The penis extends a fair distance back within the body, even when it's fully erect, so cutting off all of the external shaft doesn't even remove the penis entirely. This is part of how "penis enlargement" surgeries work. They sever some of the connections to the muscle that holds the penis in place, pull it out, and then do some remedial action to hopefully not cause scarring/loss of control/etc." Ah yes those are some very true facts. Note, please, that this writeup is not intended to be read as, um, entirely literally correct. Do not try this at home!!

Tip (?), n. [Akin to D. & Dan. tip, LG. & Sw. tipp, G. zipfel, and probably to E. tap a plug, a pipe.]


The point or extremity of anything; a pointed or somewhat sharply rounded end; the end; as, the tip of the finger; the tip of a spear.

To the very tip of the nose. Shak.


An end piece or part; a piece, as a cap, nozzle, ferrule, or point, applied to the extreme end of anything; as, a tip for an umbrella, a shoe, a gas burner, etc.

3. Hat Manuf.

A piece of stiffened lining pasted on the inside of a hat crown.


A thin, boarded brush made of camel's hair, used by gilders in lifting gold leaf.


Rubbish thrown from a quarry.


© Webster 1913.

Tip (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tipped (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tipping.]

To form a point upon; to cover the tip, top, or end of; as, to tip anything with gold or silver.

With truncheon tipped with iron head. Hudibras.

Tipped with jet, Fair ermines spotless as the snows they press. Thomson.


© Webster 1913.

Tip, v. t. [Cf. LG. tippen to tap, Sw. tippa, and E. tap to strike gently.]


To strike slightly; to tap.

A third rogue tips me by the elbow. Swift.


To bestow a gift, or douceur, upon; to give a present to; as, to tip a servant.




To lower one end of, or to throw upon the end; to tilt; as, to tip a cask; to tip a cart.

To tip off, to pour out, as liquor. -- To tip over, to overturn. -- To tip the wink, to direct a wink; to give a hint or suggestion by, or as by, a wink. [Slang] Pope. -- To tip up, to turn partly over by raising one end.


© Webster 1913.

Tip, v. i.

To fall on, or incline to, one side.


To tip off, to fall off by tipping.


© Webster 1913.

Tip, n. [See Tip to strike slightly, and cf. Tap a slight blow.]


A light touch or blow; a tap.


A gift; a douceur; a fee.



A hint, or secret intimation, as to the chances in a horse race, or the like.

[Sporting Cant]


© Webster 1913.

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