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pick up the tab | pick up the bill Informal

Meaning: If you pick up the tab, or pick up the bill, you pay for yourself and your friends in a restaurant or a bar.

For example:

  • When people go out to celebrate a birthday in Thailand, whoever's having the birthday picks up the tab.

  • In general in Asia, the person with the highest status picks up the bill in a restaurant.

Quick Quiz:

Larry is a very generous guy and he
  1. never picks up the tab
  2. always picks up the tab
  3. occasionally picks up the tab

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