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a sop to Cerberus

A bribe. Taken from the ancient Greek and Roman custom of leaving gifts with corpses so that Cerberus (guardian of the gates of hell) would pass them by. What is this money, a sop to Cerberus so that I won't tell the authorities what you've done?
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sop something up

to mop or soak up a liquid. Use this rag to sop the spilled milk up. The rag will sop up the mess a little at a time.
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sop up

To take something up by absorption; absorb something: We sopped up the water with paper towels. I sopped the sauce up with a piece of bread.
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1. n. a drunkard; an alcoholic. Give the old sop a buck and tell him to beat it.
2. tv. & in. to guzzle (liquor). You’ve sopped booze long enough. Go home.