sweeten the kitty

Cultural Dictionary
sweeten the kitty (deal)

To raise the stakes, as in a game of poker, where the pot is called the kitty: “Before you decide which job offer to accept, perhaps we can offer you a few added fringe benefits to sweeten the kitty.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sweeten the kitty

Also, sweeten the pot or deal. Make something financially more attractive, as in I am unable to give you the new title but I could sweeten the kitty a little by giving you a raise. This idiom comes from card games such as poker, where it means "add money to the pool," and uses sweeten in the sense of "make more agreeable." [Slang; c. 1900]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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