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slap on the wrist

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A mild reproof, as in We were fined heavily, and all she got from the judge was a slap on the wrist. [Early 1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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