One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Mexico and elsewhere in Spanish America: a bribe, an illegal exaction.
1940s; earliest use found in Life. From Central-American, Mexican, and Chilean Spanish mordida bribe (colloquial; apparently only attested in written use from 1950), specifically use of Spanish mordida bite, use as noun of feminine of past participle of morder to bite from classical Latin mordēre.
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