a slap on the wrist

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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
"Giving prolific criminals no more than a slap on the wrist is not justice."
Presenter Ryan Tubridy was given a slap on the wrist for compounding the offence when he said, "Great expression".
over the deaths, Mr Dunsby said the censure was nothing more than "a slap on the wrist".
J defends the British justice system, 'Legal defence', (GDN, August 12), yet the UK is a country where if you are charged for the 18th time with a violent offence after glassing a stranger in the face in a nightclub, you walk away from court with a slap on the wrist.
"It was more a slap on the wrist and probably 'don't do it again'."
We have a number of police logs and have also involved the environmental people and the university where the students are from, but all they get is a slap on the wrist and told to behave (what a joke).
We previously reported that Justin Bieber's neighbors are withholding their monthly association fees until the Calabasas neighborhood officials give Bieber a slap on the wrist for being a brat, driving fast, throwing wild parties and basically doing all the things you cant do when you live in a wealthy suburb.
Summary: Doctors flaunting their 'white coats' outside of the workplace have been given a slap on the wrist by the Ministry of Health.
The courts have a role when culprits are identified to give really punitive sentence, not a slap on the wrist as is usual.
He said: "I'm angry they got a slap on the wrist - it can't end like this.
Courts have taken harsh measures against Jews in Judea and Samaria, but a judge gave only a slap on the wrist to a leftist who struck policemen.
Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said: "While Jacqui Smith is announcing gimmicks to try and tackle burglary, thousands of burglars are being let off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Victims are being denied justice, and ministers are sending out the message that the onus is on the householder to protect their home but not on the criminal justice system to enforce the law."
Three teenagers were jailed for life for the murder last year, but yesterday his widow said many violent criminals were being let off with "a slap on the wrist".
Both men were fined and ordered to pay Mr Sillick, who runs a cleaning company, pounds 100 each in compensation - a sentence he branded 'a slap on the wrist' yesterday.