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A.Word.A.Day--baksheesh

Pronunciation RealAudio

baksheesh (BAK-sheesh) noun

A payment, such as a tip or bribe.

[From Persian bakhshish, from bakhshidan, from baksh (to give).]

"A certain favoritism, even in the absence of baksheesh-pocketing headwaiters, is indispensable to restaurants that expect to maintain a steady clientele - especially in New York, where every other big shot seems to demand the `best' table and, instead of something fabulous to eat, a custom-baked potato." Thomas McNamee, The Joy of Cooking: In the Kitchen of a Chic French Restaurant, The New York Times Book Review, Jun 23, 2002.

"About 130 officials were fired for taking baksheesh, and the volume of tariff revenue that actually reached state coffers jumped by almost 50% in two years." Maturing Mozambique, The Economist (London) Dec 4, 1999.

This week's theme: words `borrowed' from other languages.

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