slap on the wrist


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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 ?
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.
This report and the mere slap on the wrist given Mr.
Princess Diana and Prince William have been given a severe slap on the wrist by police after a shooting incident at their hideaway French villa.
Moreover, the Appellate Term's analysis puts some teeth into an owner's remedy which has, all too often, been reduced to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
It's like a slap on the wrist which is deplorable given that the lives of innocent people have been forever altered.
JEFF BURTON, Stockton | | | THERE isn't a day goes by when we don't read an article in the Gazette or national newspapers about crimes being committed and the low-lifes have got off with it or been given a slap on the wrist with a community sentence.
LUCKY LADY: Baroness Scotland was given a slap on the wrist
On the off chance they're caught, they're let off with a slap on the wrist - few, if any, are even prosecuted.
The judge, naturally, let him off with a slap on the wrist through probation.
If Burnett had copped a plea, told the jury he just blew his cool, lost his mind for a minute, or used any lame excuse that people living in crowded cities could relate to, maybe he could have walked away with a slap on the wrist.
Alatorre gets a slap on the wrist and the public gets slapped in the face by the powers that be.
It's unheard of that adults who lure innocent children away from their homes get away with a slap on the wrist,'' Runner, R-Lancaster, said.
They think all they'll get is a slap on the wrists for maiming someone.