A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for a night…” (joke) (3/23)
“Why are women and children evacuated first?” (joke) (3/23)
“I’ll have a rum and coke” (joke) (3/23)
“I’ve had so much coffee today I can see noises” (3/23)
“The most dangerous drinking game is seeing how long I can go without coffee” (3/23)
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Entry from November 09, 2014
“Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt”

"Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt” is a popular joke about etiquette. “When you pay a compliment, always take a receipt” was cited in Punch’s Almanack for 1862 (1861). “Some people wouldn’t even pay a compliment without asking for a receipt” was cited in many newspapers in 1904.

Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard (1868-1930), author of the popular “Abe Martin of Brown County” newspaper cartoon, is often credited for the saying, but the saying had already been popular when Hubbard wrote it. “Some fellers pay a compliment like they expected a receipt” was cited in November 1911 and “Some folks pay a compliment like they expected a receipt” is from February 1912.


Google Books
Punch’s Almanack for 1862
London: Punch
1861
Pg. 1841, col. 2:
When you pay a compliment, always take a receipt.

5 February 1862, The Wisconsin Daily Patriot (Madison, WI), “Tastings From Punch’s Almanac,” pg. 2, col. 3:
When you pay a compliment, always take a receipt.

28 September 1904, Lawrence (KS) Daily World, pg. 2, col. 4:
Some people wouldn’t even pay a compliment without asking for a receipt.

Chronicling America
30 September 1904, Kansas Agitator (Garnett, KS), pg. 7, col. 3:
Some people wouldn’t even pay a compliment without asking for a receipt.

23 March 1906, The Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA), pg. 7, col. 3:
ON INTEREST
Hicks—Brown is an exceedingly cautious man, don’t you think?
Wicks—Cautious? Why he wouldn’t pay a compliment without taking a receipt for it.

16 November 1911, Evansville (IN) Courier, pg. 6, col. 4:
ABE MARTIN
(Indianapolis News)
Very little courtesy goes to waste. Some fellers pay a compliment like they expected a receipt.

Chronicling America
7 February 1912, San Francisco (CA) Call, “Abe Martin,” pg. 6, col. 3:
Some folks pay a compliment like they expected a receipt. Th’ feller that’s short in his accounts is allus long on somethin’ else.

Google Books
Speaker’s Handbook of Epigrams and Witticisms
By Herbert V. Prochnow
New York, NY: Harper
1955
Pg. 54:
Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt.
Frank M. Hubbard

Google Books
Money Talks:
The 2500 Greatest Business Quotes from Aristotle to DeLorean

By Robert Warren Kent
New York, NY: Pocket Books
1986, ©1985
Pg. 271:
Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt.
Frank McKinney ("Kin") Hubbard (1868-1930)

Google Books
The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1989
Pg. 56:
Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt.
Kin (F. McKinney) Hubbard (1868-1930)
American humorist, journalist

Google Books
14,000 Quips & Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
1990, ©1980
Pg. 97:
Some pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt.

Google Books
Words from the Wise: O
Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said

By Rosemarie Jarski
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2007
Pg. ?:
Some fellows pay a compliment like they expect a receipt.
Kin Hubbard

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, November 09, 2014 • Permalink