rap someone's knuckles

rap someone's knuckles

Reprimand, as in If I'd seen John take that last piece of cake, I'd have rapped his knuckles. This term transfers a physical punishment to a verbal one. [Late 1600s]
See also: knuckle, rap
References in periodicals archive ?
As to the wrong cog getting caught, well, it happened to me on a number of occasions so I suppose I have to rap someone's knuckles for that.