cross palm with silver

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Related to cross palm with silver: cross-purposes, cross off

cross someone's palm with silver

Fig. to pay money to someone in payment for a service. (A fortune-teller might ask for a potential customer to cross her palm with silver. Used in that sense or jocularly for something like tipping a porter.) I crossed his palm with silver, but he still stood there. You will find that things happen much faster in hotels if you cross the staff's palms with silver fairly often.
See also: cross, palm, silver