line one's pockets, to

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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
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.

line (one's) pockets

To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.
See also: line, pocket
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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