line one's pockets, to

line one's pockets

Accept a bribe or other illicit payment, as in The mayor and his cronies found dozens of ways to line their pockets. This expression dates from the mid-1500s, when it was also put as line one's purse.
See also: line, pocket

line (one's) pockets

To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.
See also: line, pocket

line one's pockets, to

To accept bribes, or acquire money in some other questionable way. One writer claims that this term originated when a court tailor who wanted the patronage of Beau Brummel gave him a gift of a coat lined with banknotes. However, the term to line one’s purse, meaning to cram it full of gold or money, predates the eighteenth-century dandy by some two hundred years; Shakespeare used it in Othello (1.1), where Iago speaks of dishonest servants who “have lin’d their coats.”
See also: line