slap on the wrist


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slap on the wrist

A mild punishment or warning. Bill hasn't been late to school that many times, so just give him a slap on the wrist for his tardiness. Most people are outraged that the corporation only received a slap on the wrist after breaking so many regulations.
See also: on, slap, wrist

*slap on the wrist

 
1. Lit. a hit on the wrist as a mild punishment for putting one's hands where they shouldn't be or taking something. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) When Billy tried to grab another cookie, he got a slap on the wrist.
2. Fig. to get a light punishment (for doing something wrong). (*Typically: get ~; give some-one ~.) He created quite a disturbance, but he only got a slap on the wrist from the judge. I thought I'd get a slap on the wrist for speeding, but I got fined $500.
See also: on, slap, wrist

slap someone on the wrist

 and slap someone's wrist 
1. Lit. to strike someone's wrist with the open hand, as a punishment. Aunt Maude slapped Tony on the wrist when he grabbed a couple of her freshly baked cookies. Tony was slapped on the wrist when he tried to swipe some cookies.
2. Fig. to administer only the mildest of punishments to someone. The judge did nothing but slap the mugger on the wrist.
See also: on, slap, wrist

slap on the wrist

A mild reproof, as in We were fined heavily, and all she got from the judge was a slap on the wrist. [Early 1900s]
See also: on, slap, wrist

a slap on the wrist

A slap on the wrist is a small punishment or occasion when someone is told they have done something wrong. She was given a small fine — a slap on the wrist really. But other than a few slaps on the wrist, the General went unpunished.
See also: on, slap, wrist

slap on the wrist

a mild reprimand or punishment.
1997 New Scientist Last week, in a Washington district court, [a judge] ordered software giant Microsoft to stop forcing PC-makers to install both Windows 95 and its Web browser, Internet Explorer. So far, though, it is just a slap on the wrist.
See also: on, slap, wrist

a slap on the ˈwrist

(informal) a small punishment or warning: I got a slap on the wrist from my secretary today for leaving the office so untidy.
See also: on, slap, wrist

slap on the wrist

A nominal or token punishment.
See also: on, slap, wrist
References in periodicals archive ?
In the past, such offenses resulted in little more than a slap on the wrist in the form of fines imposed by the Ethics Commission.
The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee gave him a slap on the wrist by recommending a three-day suspension.
It's how the game is played, and no slap on the wrist from the Ethics Commission is going to stop it.
There are still too many kids out there speeding, and this slap on the wrist is not setting an example for them.
It's hard to imagine that a slap on the wrist is going to make much of a difference when the company deserved a kick in the pants a long time ago.
SEEING that the city of Los Angeles has long turned a blind eye to the illegal kickbacks hotels routinely get from taxicab companies, it comes as no surprise that its belated response has been a slap on the wrist.
This tells me that the other culprits will get away with just a slap on the wrist and be allowed to keep all their ill-gotten gains.
Instead, the judges are getting off with a slap on the wrist.
Los Angeles doesn't have to worry about corruption taking hold, because its fundamental processes of municipal government have been so corrupt for so long that even if an insider steps over the line, a slap on the wrist is the only likely punishment.
The judge, naturally, let him off with a slap on the wrist through probation.
If Burnett had copped a plea, told the jury he just blew his cool, lost his mind for a minute, or used any lame excuse that people living in crowded cities could relate to, maybe he could have walked away with a slap on the wrist.
Alatorre gets a slap on the wrist and the public gets slapped in the face by the powers that be.