grease (one's) palm

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grease (one's) palm

To bribe one discreetly, as by slipping money into their palm. A: "How are we going to get a table without a reservation?" B: "Don't worry, I greased the hostess' palm, and she promised us a table in no time." I greased my brother's palm to stop him from telling Mom that I had a party while she was away.
See also: grease, palm
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

grease someone's palm

Also, oil someone's palm or hand . Give someone money in exchange for a favor; also, bribe someone. For example, If you want you luggage to make the plane, be sure to grease the porter's palm. This term uses grease in the sense of "enrich." [First half of 1500s]
See also: grease, palm
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

grease someone's palm

If someone greases an official's palm, they secretly give money to the official in order to get something that they want. She thought she would not be able to see the files if she did not grease the palms of officials. At the docks my grandfather would grease the palm of some sailor to show us round his ship. Note: You can describe this activity as palm-greasing. Palm-greasing for just about anything from entry to a favoured school to obtaining a bank loan is considered a fact of life here. Note: The idea behind this expression is that grease and oil help machines work smoothly. In the same way, bribing people will make it easier to get what you want.
See also: grease, palm
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

grease (or oil) someone's palm

bribe someone. informal
This phrase comes from the practice of applying grease to a machine to make it run smoothly. The same expression exists in French as graisser la patte . The form with palm is now predominant but hand appears in the earliest recorded versions of the idiom, dating from the 16th century.
1998 Economist Licences to run a shop [in Italy]…have caused many an official's palm to be greased.
See also: grease, palm
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

grease somebody’s ˈpalm

(old-fashioned, informal) give somebody money in order to persuade them to do something dishonest: Luckily, Mick was able to grease a few palms, thus helping his brother to escape.
This phrase refers to the fact that you put grease (= a thick substance like oil) on a machine to make it run smoothly.
See also: grease, palm
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

grease someone’s palm

tv. to pay someone a bribe. I had to grease the clerk’s palm in order to get the job done.
See also: grease, palm
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
According to Sanghu veracular weekly, he has gone greasing palm of adviser to the Prime Minister Bishnu Rimal and Rajan Bhattari.
They raised voice against no change in the attitude of Patwar and accused them of not serving locals without greasing palm, noise pollution and traffic jam by Rakshas,contamination of environment by marble factories waste, use of loud speakers by commodities selling vehicles, unboarding passengers at Ambela check post, excessive load shedding especially power outage during Fajar prayer,suspension work on Pir Baba feeder, deforestation for sale of timbers and absent from duty, no secretary in the union council Pacha and Gadezai, unhygenic environment in jurisdiction of municipal committees, lacking services at DHQ hospital Daggar and late arrival of health staff of THQ hospital Pacha.
Throughout the district, it has become difficult to get the case registered without greasing palms of the police officials.
They said that anyone could get unauthorised power supply, transformer replaced and direct power supply by greasing palms of corrupt Hesco officials.
While the ease of doing business is about how difficult it is to secure all the sanctions to start a business in India, the smart ones know that greasing palms increases the ease and it is worthwhile to take the risk because the chances of success are huge.
Member National Assembly Ramesh Lal asked a question to Chairman Evacuee Board Trust that it was revealed that rooms at Nankana Sahib were given for greasing palms of concerned officials.
The real killers of African elephants are criminal enterprises with the ability to establish and maintain supply chains stretching from the forests of Africa to the markets of Asia, greasing palms and paying off corrupt officials every step of the way.
Even after including transportation and other expenses ( which includes money meant for greasing palms of police officials deployed at several border points) they make hefty profit by selling the liquor in Delhi," he said.
If I produce a pair of leather shoes for RS 500, I have to add on RS 100 for various taxes, another RS 200 for greasing palms. Then my profit and so the pair will sell for RS 1200.
Though we hear occasionally about "greasing palms" in workplaces in the West, in other cultures it is much more commonplace or, some would say, expected!
Maybe the NRA, instead of greasing palms of millionaire lawmakers, can fund a national Gun Registry (like the RMV) and an insurance agency to ensure that their camo-clad cousins get their guns.
Bribery, extortion, obstacles to progress removed or kept in place by greasing palms - all have become common in our society.
If one approaches a help window, the immediate reply is 'no seat is available' but one could get as many seats as he/she likes by greasing palms of the 'agents'.
She was fully supported by the Labour opposition, who were rewarded by the "Minister for Greasing Palms and Backhanders" with non-executive directorships and seats on quangos and the House of Lords.
We are told that even before Newell blew the whistle the Football League had been drawing up plans to ban the practice of greasing palms.