Subject: cumshaw

Definition: Handout to beggars

Not being Chinese, I've lived in China, off and on, for over 20 years. I have never seen "cumshaw" in print until your E-mail.

Very few of the Chinese I know (from all over China) ever even heard of it. It most certainly is not used in Chinese as a "tip" or a "gift".

The word probably originated in China among foreigners, especially tourists and beggars. While in China, I have come across the word numerous times. The word was always pronounced "kumashaw". And, was never used in any sense than the arabic "baksheesh". And, only in the sense of a "handout to beggars."