grease someone's palm/fist, to

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grease someone's palm

 and 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.
See also: grease, palm

grease someone's palm/fist, to

To bribe someone; also, to give a gratuity. This term has been around since the sixteenth century, and apparently a version of it was known even in Roman times, when Pliny the Younger called it unguentarium, translated as “ointment money” (Epistles, ca. a.d. 98). “Wyth golde and grotes they grese my hande,” wrote John Skelton (Magnyfycence, ca. 1529).
See also: grease, palm