Ever wonder why the waiter at the restaurant you went to last week is now giving you dirty looks. Well, perhaps you didn't leave them a tip!

Then, the question is: What is a person who never leaves a tip called?

A bit of searching come up with "penny-pincher" ("unwilling to spend money"), but I'm unsure this is the best choice in this case.

  • Is the answer "Australian"? – WW. Feb 28 '14 at 3:38

11 Answers 11


You might be looking for a term specifically used to mean a bad tipper, not just a stingy person. Food service industry jargon includes several widely used terms for a bad tipper:

  • Canadian, a known or obvious bad tipper, according to the Chicago Tribune article “10 things you might not know about tipping”. For example: “Jodie just sat six Canadians in your section, dude.” In some locales, racial prejudice has resulted in this term becoming code for African-Americans who look “ghetto” or for African-Americans in general, according to various web sources.

  • Flea, a bad tipper. According to the article “Bar and Restaurant Lingo”, the term refers sarcastically to someone whose “little arms are too short to reach down into their pockets”.

  • George Eddy, a person who does not tip, according to various collections of food service jargon such as “Diner Slang” at Wordorigins.org.

  • Stiff, “a poor tipper; tightwad”, Random House Unabridged Dictionary (1997), according to Infoplease (a Pearson website). The term is also used in the context of casino gambling, according to Vice Slang (Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor, 2008).

  • Verbal tipper, “a very enthusiastic guest who will praise you to the skies in lieu of tipping you actual money”. From a list of “A Glossary of Restaurant Lingo, Slang & Terms” at a food service blog.

  • 1
    Canadian? It's ironic. Canada has higher sales taxes that include provincial and federal tax (in Quebec it's almost 15% total). But a 15% tip is generally expected here. So, if you pay 15% of the total (after taxes), you're giving way more tip than you would in the USA, where (state) sales tax might only be 3% or 5%. – Fuhrmanator Sep 10 '13 at 13:33

Tightwad: a stingy or miserly person. A miser.

Synonyms are

  • cheapskate
  • churl
  • hoarder
  • moneygrubber
  • scrooge
  • skinflint
  • stiff (definition 21c - a poor tipper, a tightwad)
  • penny-pincher
  • pinchfist
  • pinchpenny
  • Jim, since "stiff" (a poor tipper) is the best choice I will accept this answer, thank you. +1. – user51029 Sep 9 '13 at 18:21
  • +1 stiff is really good b/c it's appropriate in both noun and verb. – Jack Ryan Sep 9 '13 at 19:11
  • I was going to post skinflint as one of my favorite words but it was already on this nice list. – mikeY Sep 9 '13 at 19:37
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    Stiff, used as a noun, is so often interpreted as corpse, I wouldn't use it in this case. You'd be much better off to use it as a verb in the context of tipping, e.g. "He stiffed the waiter." – Gary S. Weaver Sep 9 '13 at 20:54
  • @GaryS: Maybe you can opt for stiffer? Making the one being stiffed the stiffee. – Gary Sep 10 '13 at 22:49

Stingy is the first that comes to mind. There are plenty of synonyms at the link. Penny-pinching works, too, but does not have the same connotation of meanness.

The action itself is called stiffing, as in "stiffing the waiter".


To be a little more specific than some of the other answers, you can call them a bad tipper.

This of course can cover not just people who don’t tip at all, but also people who habitually tip less than the amount locally expected.


If you are in a region where the tip is expected, then I would recommend

Deadbeat:noun 2: one who persistently fails to pay personal debts or expenses

from m-w.com

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    Not sure if a tip falls under the category of a personal debt or expense... – Django Reinhardt Sep 11 '13 at 2:24

An Australian? Tipping is not customary in Oz and New Zealand.

In the States, I might go with "miser".

  • In the US I'd be tempted to use the term "skinflint", but no, in Australia we don't tip as a general rule. Sometimes in restaurants when the service has been spectacularly good, but you'd never even consider tipping a cab driver for example. – Dave Sag Sep 10 '13 at 10:17
  • I am sure that even Australians know that you have to tip in countries like the US where tipping is customary... we watch enough US tv programs to know that at least (I hope). My US friends will tip Australian waiters even though they also probably know that you don't need to. – Michael Lai Jul 4 '14 at 1:09

Another couple for you: 'Tightarse' or 'Tightwad'.


French. Ha I can say this because of my French blood and that we are known as the worst tippers in the world.

Use in a sentence.

"Why doesn't Bill ever leave a tip?"

Another person, "He must be French."

  • 1
    Very nice! +1 :) – user51029 Sep 9 '13 at 18:05
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    Ryebread, you should keep the jokes in the comments, not as answers. Unless you're serious? – JeffSahol Sep 9 '13 at 18:21
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    @JeffSahol - I have heard it used. You must be really serious about your English. – RyeɃreḁd Sep 9 '13 at 18:24
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    @RyeBread Well, there is a site policy and since you're relatively new I was just making you aware of it. That's why I asked if you were really serious about "French" as an answer, as some of the comments (Barrie and Brad) obviously were not. Don't worry, I won't show up at your house with a steel ruler or anything. – JeffSahol Sep 9 '13 at 18:31
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    I've never come across this usage, I've heard French being used in a derogatory way but specifically to mean bad tipper? Have you actually read/heard it used in this way? Where? Could you find a reference? – terdon Sep 9 '13 at 23:21

Frugal-using only as much money as is necessary.

Thrifty-careful about spending money.

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    A truly frugal or thrifty person would be more likely to not go to a posh restaurant in the first place. – TRiG Sep 10 '13 at 15:43
  • I guess that would be parsimonious. – aarbee Sep 10 '13 at 16:15

Miser is best suitable :) Miser means who is very cheep on spending buck specially while purchasing good :)


In New York City in the 1970s, the word "eighty-six" was common among waiters/waitresses to indicate a perennially bad tipper. From at Dictionary.com:

"Slang Dictionary, eighty-six definition, and 86: tv., to dispose of someone or something; to nix someone or something. : He wants $400? Eighty-six that! We can't afford it."

  • 1
    Nice contribution, +1! – user51029 Sep 16 '13 at 19:51
  • Two questions: Is that sense of "eighty-six" documented anywhere? The one quoted says nothing about a bad tipper. And was it used as a noun? Would you refer to someone as an "eighty-six"? – MetaEd Sep 17 '13 at 0:40
  • @MετάEd: You are correct; the quoted part does not. My reason for including the definition was to show that the expression "eighty-six," as wait staff in NYC used it, was at least tangentially related to a restaurant patron's "nixing" someone, in this case a waiter or waitress. Yeah, it was used as a noun, as in "The guy in the plaid shirt is an eighty-six." As for documentation, I got the expression firsthand from a waiter in New York City who worked for years at the once famous Stauffer's (sp.?) Restaurant. – rhetorician Sep 17 '13 at 23:19
  • Your comment would make a good addition to your answer. – MetaEd Sep 18 '13 at 13:52