rap (one's) knuckles

(redirected from rapping her 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 ?
"I'm pleased to say my memory is as good as ever, touch wood," said the third lady, rapping her knuckles on the table.
"We're going to get married but it's not going to change anything at all because we're committed to each other, 100% faithful - touchwood," she says, cheekily rapping her knuckles on the table.