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sweeten the kitty

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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.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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