grease (one's) palm(redirected from greases their palms)
grease (one's) palm
To bribe one discreetly, as by slipping money into their palm. A: "How are we going to get a table without a reservation?" B: "Don't worry, I greased the hostess' palm, and she promised us a table in no time." I greased my brother's palm to stop him from telling Mom that I had a party while she was away.
grease someone's palmand oil someone's palm
Fig. to bribe someone. If you want to get something done around here, you have to grease someone's palm. I'd never oil a police officer's palm. That's illegal.
grease someone's palm
Also, oil someone's palm or hand . Give someone money in exchange for a favor; also, bribe someone. For example, If you want you luggage to make the plane, be sure to grease the porter's palm. This term uses grease in the sense of "enrich." [First half of 1500s]
grease someone's palm
If someone greases an official's palm, they secretly give money to the official in order to get something that they want. She thought she would not be able to see the files if she did not grease the palms of officials. At the docks my grandfather would grease the palm of some sailor to show us round his ship. Note: You can describe this activity as palm-greasing. Palm-greasing for just about anything from entry to a favoured school to obtaining a bank loan is considered a fact of life here. Note: The idea behind this expression is that grease and oil help machines work smoothly. In the same way, bribing people will make it easier to get what you want.
grease (or oil) someone's palmbribe someone. informal
This phrase comes from the practice of applying grease to a machine to make it run smoothly. The same expression exists in French as graisser la patte . The form with palm is now predominant but hand appears in the earliest recorded versions of the idiom, dating from the 16th century.
1998 Economist Licences to run a shop [in Italy]…have caused many an official's palm to be greased.
grease somebody’s ˈpalm(old-fashioned, informal) give somebody money in order to persuade them to do something dishonest: Luckily, Mick was able to grease a few palms, thus helping his brother to escape.
This phrase refers to the fact that you put grease (= a thick substance like oil) on a machine to make it run smoothly.