slap on the wrist


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slap (one) on the wrist

To issue one with a very mild, inconsequential punishment or warning. The CEO ripped off millions of people, and instead of throwing him in jail where he belongs, they're just slapping him on the wrist. Of course the country is going to keep developing nuclear weapons if all we do is slap them on the wrist for it.
See also: on, slap, 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

*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 ?
"When I go to court I feel like it is one big joke, all criminals get these days is a slap on the wrist."
All he did was to give him a slap on the wrist. Davies took my son's life - and yet he could be home with his family by Christmas.
Travel West Midlands spokesman Phil Bateman said the youth had received little more than a slap on the wrist while the victim had only recently returned to work where he was still only able to do "light office duties."
He said: "He got away with a slap on the wrist. My dad is very upset and worried about this."
Fiona Warman, a partner at Williamson and Soden in Shirley, Solihull, said that courts were routinely issuing excessively high fines to drivers who are able to pay while less well-off drivers escaped with little more than a 'slap on the wrist'.
PAUL Woolwich, the executive producer behind the BBC's Kenyon Confronts series, has condemned racing's regulators for giving trainer David Wintle ``a rather pathetic slap on the wrist'' at a Jockey Club disciplinary hearing yesterday.
All he got was a slap on the wrist for naming other prisoners in his diary and making pounds 300,000 in the process.
AN PS11MILLION fine given to British Gas for missing green targets was dismissed as a "slap on the wrist" last night.
NEWS that a two-year ASBO has been given to a teenager who threw stones at a fire engine led to this response on TS20 "You mean he got a slap on the wrist like the rest of the criminals get.
They should have their passports seized for 10 years rather than being given a slap on the wrist by the courts.
Holding her five-month-old daughter Ciara, an emotional Mrs Egan said: 'They've taken away my little boy from me and all they've got is a few thousand pounds fine and a slap on the wrist and they've all got to keep their jobs.
WE are continually told that prisons are full, so any expansion is good in my book - it gets more of the undesirables off our streets instead of being given an ineffectual slap on the wrist.
Yet he's to be let off with a legal slap on the wrist while Ingrid Tarrant escaped a ban and Kate Moss was never prosecuted despite snorting cocaine.
Geoff Martin, organiser at Battersea and Wandsworth TUC, said: 'If company bosses knew they would be facing years in the Scrubs rather than a slap on the wrist there would soon be a real improvement in workplace safety.'
LUCKY LADY: Baroness Scotland was given a slap on the wrist