Conscience Money Meaning
(idiomatic) Money which is voluntarily paid by a party who feels guilt, and seeks to provide compensation, for some past misdeed or negligence.
Example: 1865 Nov. 23, "From Washington," New York Times (retrieved 24 Aug 2014):
The Secretary of the Treasury is almost daily in receipt of installments of conscience-money, which the perturbed moral sense of a guilty office-holder or other defrauder of the government suggests the payment of in order to obtain "a still and quiet conscience."
1918, Eleanor H. Porter, Oh, Money! Money!, ch. 1:
"Whatever I've done, I've always been criticized. . . . If I donated to a church, it was called conscience money; and if I didn't donate to it, they said I was mean and miserly."
1994 May 3, Richard Dowden, "Big Mac and Coke? Not so fast . . .: Most South Africans will not see new-found wealth overnight," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 24 Aug 2014):
Other US companies, keen to be seen making the politically correct investment now, are bringing â€˜conscience moneyâ€™ to the new South Africa.
2010 Nov. 28, Paul Harris, "Tony Blair v Christopher Hitchens: fight the good fight," Guardian (UK) (retrieved 24 Aug 2014):
He described the aid work done by religious missions as "conscience money" to make up for the harm they have done.