put the arm on

put the arm on (one)

To ask or pressure someone for a loan or donation of money. Jane's good-for-nothing brother is always comes skulking around our place every couple of weeks to put the arm on us for a few bucks. The alumni association of my old university puts the arm on me once or twice a year looking for a donation.
See also: arm, on, put

put the arm on someone

Fig. to apply pressure to someone. John's been putting the arm on Mary to get her to go out with him. John has been putting the arm on Bill to get him to cooperate.
See also: arm, on, put

put the arm on

Also, put the bite or touch on . Ask for or demand money, as in He's the youngest and he's always putting the arm on Dad. The first of these slangy usages, first recorded in 1939, alludes to a robber assaulting someone by yoking his arm around the victim's throat. The bite variant, first recorded in 1919, similarly alludes to a violent attack. The last, touch, has been slang for "theft" since the mid-1800s.
See also: arm, on, put

put the arm on

attempt to force or coerce someone to do something. North American informal
See also: arm, on, put