Green’s Dictionary of Slang

baksheesh n.

[Hind. ??????? (bakh?i?), from Pers. bakhshish, present, ult. f. bakhshi-dan, to give. Given the stereotyping of the ‘Oriental merchant’ or the Third World beggar, the implication tends to be slightly pej.]

1. [mid-19C+] (also backshee, backsheesh, bakshish, buckshee, bucksheech, buckshish) a gratuity, a tip; cite 1894 extends sense to a bribe.

2. attrib. use of sense 1.

3. [1910s+] (also backsheesh, buckshee) something free, a ‘perk’.