toss a bone to (someone)

toss a bone to (someone)

To attempt to appease or placate someone by giving them something trivial or of minor importance, or by doing some small favor for them. (A reference to giving an animal a bone or scrap from a bigger portion of food, this phrase is a variant of the more common "throw (someone) a bone.") The city council has decided to toss a bone to local building companies and will be releasing small amounts of public space to commercial development.
See also: bone, toss