rap (one's) knuckles

(redirected from rap our knuckles)

rap (one's) knuckles

1. Literally, to smack someone, especially a child, on the knuckles as a punishment for misbehavior. The teacher was fired for rapping students' 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's knuckles for illegally dumping chemicals in the river. The boss rapped my knuckles for coming in late on Friday.
See also: knuckle, rap

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 ?
She had little patience and tolerance, and it would not take much for her to lose her temper, throw her chalk at us, or rap our knuckles with her ruler, and then growl!
I look forward to hanging out with you soon." When we do, let's just hope Simon Cowell doesn't rap our knuckles for leading her astray.
But can our bosses rap our knuckles for doing this - and what rights do we have to stop them?