Perhaps in response to the panhandler, perhaps not, a teenage girl sitting nearby thanks me for my service.
This is not what the panhandler wishes to hear and she continues through the subway car.
"one who begs," 1893, from panhandle (n.) in begging sense. Related: Panhandled; panhandler; panhandling.
"something resembling the handle of a pan," 1851, from pan (n.) + handle (n.). Especially in reference to geography, originally American English, from 1856, in reference to Virginia (now West Virginia; Florida, Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Alaska also have them). Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar's) pan.
"to beg," 1888, from panhandle (n.) in the begging sense. Related: Panhandled; panhandling.
A person who begs, esp by accosting people on the street; beggar: This panhandler came up to me and braced me
[1897+; fr the stiff arm held out by the beggar]
To beg, esp by accosting people on the street: The boys deal drugs or panhandle, even become male prostitutes
[1903+; fr panhandler]