palm off

Idioms & Phrases

palm off

Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive, as in The salesman tried to palm off a zircon as a diamond, or The producer tried to palm her off as a star from the Metropolitan Opera. This expression alludes to concealing something in the palm of one's hand. It replaced the earlier palm on in the early 1800s.

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