cross (one's) palm with silver

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cross (one's) palm with silver

To pay someone, often as a bribe. Well, if you cross my palm with silver, I might remember a few details about the people you're asking about. I crossed her palm with silver to make sure she won't come after us.
See also: cross, palm, silver

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

cross someone's palm with silver

Pay for a service; pay in advance. For example, I'll give you all the details, but first cross my palm with silver. This phrase alludes to the old practice of placing silver coins across a gypsy fortuneteller's hand before having one's fortune told. Today it is sometimes used in a jocular way to ask for a bribe or a tip, as in the example. [c. 1700] Also see grease someone's palm.
See also: cross, palm, silver

cross someone's palm with silver

pay someone for a favour or service. often humorous
Crossing someone's palm with silver was originally connected with the telling of fortunes, when the client would literally trace out the sign of a cross on the hand of the fortune-teller with a silver coin.
See also: cross, palm, silver