Literally: to make a sleeve
Meaning: to beg;
Origins: Middle ages, According to Georges Planelles in his book Les 1001 expressions préférées des Français , during the tournaments the ladies would give one sleeve of their dresses to the knights they favored. For that reason this use of the sleeve has been used also in Italy during the 13th century. The word “mancia” took the meaning of gift or gratification. But it is in France, a the end of the 14th century that they would become “pourboire” or “aumône”. In France, at the end of the 18th century, the expression is used to describe the artist looking for some money to survive.
Today, it is used to describe mendicity.