palm off, to
palm (something) off (on one) (as something else)
To discard something unwanted by giving or selling it to one (under the pretense of it being something else). There are always guys palming off cheap watches as Rolexes in this part of town. She tried to palm the hardest part of the assignment off on me as some kind of special challenge. Don't palm your chores off on me—I have my own to do.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
palm someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something)and pass someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something); pawn someone or something off (on someone) (as someone or something)
Fig. to give someone or something to someone as a gift that appears to be someone or something desirable. (As if the gift had been concealed in one's palm until it was gotten rid of.) Are you trying to palm that annoying client off on me as a hot prospect? Don't palm off that pest on me. Please don't pass that problem off on me as a challenge. Don't pass it off on me! Don't pawn it off on me as something of value.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive, as in The salesman tried to palm off a zircon as a diamond, or The producer tried to palm her off as a star from the Metropolitan Opera. This expression alludes to concealing something in the palm of one's hand. It replaced the earlier palm on in the early 1800s.
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.
To get rid of or dispose of something by fraud or deception; fob off: The crooked merchant palmed off a lot of fake diamonds before being caught. Someone tried to palm some old coins off on me yesterday, saying they were rare and valuable.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
palm off, to
To pass off fraudulently. The term comes from the practice of concealing in one’s palm what one pretends to dispose of in some other way. At first (seventeenth century) it was put as to palm on or upon. Charles Lamb, in one of his Elia essays (1822), used the modern version: “Have you not tried to palm off a yesterday’s pun?”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer