slap someone's wrist

slap (one's) wrist

To issue one with a very mild, inconsequential punishment or warning. The CEO ripped off millions of people, and they're just slapping his wrist instead of throwing him in jail where he belongs. Of course the country going to keep developing nuclear weapons if all we do is slap their wrists for it.
See also: slap, wrist
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

slap someone’s wrist

and slap someone on the wrist
tv. to administer a minor reprimand. The courts only slap them on the wrist and send them back out on the streets.
See also: slap, wrist
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.