cross someone's palm with 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