Green’s Dictionary of Slang

palm v.

1. to pass counterfeit money, or anything fake; also as vtr., to delude, to hoodwink (see cite 1944).

[UK]Swift Tale of a Tub 130: A rogue that [...] cheated us of our Fortunes; paumed [sic] his damned Crusts upon us for Mutton.
[UK]F. Pilon He Would be a Soldier V ii: He lost your son, Sir [...] the booby he palmed upon you is his own.
[Scot]W. Scott Rob Roy (1883) 419: Dick broke his neck [...] in an attempt to show off a foundered blood-mare which he wished to palm off upon a Manchester merchant.
[UK]C. Lamb Elia Ser. 2 (1835) 262: A horse-giver, no more that a horse-seller, has a right to palm his spavined article upon us for good ware.
[UK]Stamford Mercury 18 July 3/3: He palmed off a bad shilling, for which he received six-pence change.
[UK]W. Middlesex Advertiser 19 Sept. 3/6: [advt] How often have unlprincipled shopkeepers palmed off on ladies an inferior article when intending to buy ‘Borwick’s Baking Powder’.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 237: He would palm upon him [...] a tanner, a bob, or half a bull, according to what coin he gave to be changed.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 7 Aug. 8/3: Beware of persons who having no good trade repute of their own, use our name ‘Singer’ to palm off counterfeit [sewing] machines.
[US]Courier (Lincoln, NE) 15 Sept. 8/1: The Call [...] is the only afternoon newspaper [...] that does not use plates — that is, ready matter shipped in by freight and palmed off as [...] sopecial correspondence.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 262: ‘Thief! Robber! [...] Palmin’ another pair, are you, you old buzzard?’ Four amber dice fell out of the boss’s hand.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 18 Dec. 27/1: The check was palmed with nobody the wiser.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 11 Jan. 3/6: [headline] Germans trying to Palm Off Guns of old Model for New.
[Aus]Mirror (Sydney) 31 Aug. 8/2: Sleight of hand tells every time, and the man who cannot ‘palm’ might as well be out of.
[Ire]L. Mackay Mourne Folk 79: I remember he ‘palmed’ off a piece of cloth to Thomas [...] That piece of cloth proved a white elephant. The tailor would not make it up; it was perfect shoddy, he said.
[US]‘Goat’ Laven Rough Stuff 49: We thought it best not to try to palm off any phony rings.
[UK]Newcastle Jrnl 4 Feb. 4/6: I am not prepared to palm the fighting man off with easy policies and soft words.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 209: And how, may I ask, did you come by that cheap imitation which you hoped to palm off on me for a preposterous sum?

2. to pass over money as a bribe; thus palmed, used of one who has been bribed.

[Scot]Caledonian Mercury 6 Sept. 3/1: For guineas in other Mens Breeches / Your Gamestsers will palm and will cog.
[UK]Midnight Spy 112: From his honour exalted on the bench, to Mr. Constable in his chair at Covent Garden round-house; in one word, they are all to be palmed, and I cannot help concluding [...] that every man has his price.
[UK]Bacchanalian Mag. 43: No mind the Benches rum design, / While you can palm the Traps.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 256: palm to bribe, or give money, for the attainment of any object or indulgence; and it is then said that the party who receives it is palmed, or that Mr. Palmer is concerned.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1812].
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 457: Tom Tripper, the great thieves’ attorney, has palmed the principal witness [...] and Joe’s memory has failed him.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 127/1: Palm, to fee, to hand over.
Morning Chronicle 10 Feb. n.p.: It is not an unusual thing in our trade to palm the police [F&H].
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 26 Oct. n.p.: No ‘squaring’ ‘palming,’ ‘beaks’ and ‘cops,’ / O, nothing then so low!
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 332: But should one of them neglect the ceremony of roundly palming the Chief of Police [...] he is immediately seized, suddenly, with a virtuous zeal to put down gambling in the good city of Chicago.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 55: Palm, to bribe.
[US]M. Levin Reporter 242: All the shrugging, bragging lot that palmed it with Welf Anjou.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 200: ‘Call up the Yale Club [...] here’s the nickel to get the op’rator!’ And Annie palmed her a fifty-buck bill.
[Scot]I. Rankin Let It Bleed 148: Rebus had been to a cash machine. He laid a crisp twenty on the console [...] Gerry Dip palmed the note.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 223: ‘Your dad palms the desk guys and gets the rooms’.

In derivatives

palmistry (n.) [play on SE]

1. theft.

[US]Spectator No. 130 n.p.: He found his pocket was picked; that being a kind of palmistry at which this race of vermin [gypsies] are very dexterous .

2. bribery.

[UK]J. Manchon Le Slang.

In phrases

Mr Palmer is concerned

the matter involves bribery.

[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 256: palm to bribe, or give money, for the attainment of any object or indulgence; and it is then said that the party who receives it is palmed, or that Mr. Palmer is concerned.