Monday, November 12, 2012

Feed the Kitty - origins of the "kitty" tip jar

For my birthday, my wonderful boyfriend bought me a kitty coin bank. The small plastic box has a mechanical kitten inside. When you put a coin on the kitten's "plate" and press the button down, the box opens and the kitten reaches out one paw to grab the coin. The kitten meows once while coming out, and once while going back into the box. It makes me giggle every time I use it and is a pretty good way to save spare change.

Which led me to wonder, why is it that tip jars are called "the kitty"? The word "kitty" was originally used in the context of the pool of money used in a card game, such as poker. With it's earliest usage dating back to 1887, the term developed from the word "kit," meaning a "collection of necessary supplies."

According to, there is also another phrase related to tipping: "the kitty is getting fatter." The concept behind this is that people have "fed" the "kitty," the amount of money is growing in the tip jar, and it is getting "fatter." 

As the website states: "First heard on 'Frat Party At The Pancake Festival' DVD, Phoenix (of Linkin Park fame) held up a tip jar and said, 'It's getting fatter, the kitty is getting fatter!', referring to the exponential increase of spare change as time went on."

Related Links
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1 comment:

  1. Very energetic aгtіcle, I lоvеd that bit.

    Will there be a part 2?

    Fеel freе to visit my blog post; cunt


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