Some say the practice of tipping began in feudal times, when lords on horseback threw gold coins at peasants to ensure safe passage through rough areas. Others say it began in 16th-century English pubs, where cash was handed to languid servers “to insure promptitude.” Wherever the practice came from, people tend to feel strongly about it. Tipping is a multibillion-dollar exception to the rule that says people won't pay more than they have to; restaurant patrons in the United ...

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