Payment made by the groom or his kin to the kin of the wife in order to ratify the marriage. The practice is common in most parts of the globe in one form or another, but it is perhaps most prevalent in Africa. It is most often a matter of social and symbolic as well as economic reciprocity, being part of a long series of exchanges between the two intermarrying families. It represents a pledge that the wife will be well treated and serves as compensation for her family's loss. Payment may consist of goods or, less frequently, services, and it may be paid in one sum or regularly over a long period of time. See also dowry.

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A bill is a document demanding payment for an order previously supplied. Presentation of a bill is common practice on the part of restaurants, credit card companies, utilities, and other service providers. The bill for something is the total price of all services and goods received but not paid for, and is presented in the expectation of immediate payment in full. If a bill is not paid, a collections company is usually given the responsibility of collecting the amount due and service is terminated. The total amount of the bill is usually called the balance due.

Under English law, a person who makes off without paying the bill, or who dishonestly secures a remission in the amount payable, commits an criminal offence under the Theft Act 1978.

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