Cross Someone's Palm Meaning
(idiomatic) To pay for a good or service.
Example: 1910, "Pay to See Barney Statue: Hindu Butler Reaping a Harvest from Washington's Curious Folk," New York Times, 12 Oct., p. 1 (retrieved 8 Apr. 2009):
For all who cross his palm with silver he condescends to lift the drapery that hides the reclining figure, and the larger the coin the longer the look.
1915, G. Harvey Ralphson, Boy Scouts in Southern Waters, ch. 28:
"I'd go into a trance and see if I could locate my chum." "You don't have to do that," declared Arnold. "Just cross my palm with a piece of silver and I'll locate him for you."
2004, A. C. Snow, "Wasted lives beckon us to look," News & Observer (USA), 9 May (retrieved 8 Apr. 2009):
After crossing his palm with a donation, I felt entitled at least to ask where he was from.