rap on the knuckles


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rap (one) on the knuckles

1. Literally, to smack someone, especially a child, on the knuckles as a punishment for misbehavior. The teacher was fired for rapping students on the knuckles when they spoke out of turn.
2. By extension, to give someone a warning, verbal scolding, or a minor punishment. The public was outraged that the government merely rapped the company on the knuckles for illegally dumping chemicals in the river. The boss rapped my knuckles for coming in late on Friday.
See also: knuckle, on, rap

rap on the knuckles

A quick, minor punishment intended to serve as a warning. The public was outraged that the company only received a rap on the knuckles from the regulatory agency after being caught illegally dumping chemicals in the river.
See also: knuckle, on, rap
References in periodicals archive ?
Cabbage manager Jimmy Ginnelly said: ''The Birmingham County have received a rap on the knuckles.
RUSSIA'S leaders are split over the UN resolution to take action against Libya - with prime minister Vladimir Putin given a rare rap on the knuckles yesterday.
The Loughgall boss expects a "rap on the knuckles" from the IFA but insists he has a clear conscience after the incident.
Cabbage manager Jimmy Ginnelly said: ''The Birmingham County have received a rap on the knuckles from the powers that be at Lancaster Gate.
But teachers' leaders said a rap on the knuckles for QCA was not enough.
That is why the procedures which led to the referee committee giving McDonald only a rap on the knuckles will be reviewed today.
JOE TIZZARD made his point with a Cheltenham win on his Dad's horse Lucky Clover yesterday, but he still got a rap on the knuckles from the stewards.