Idioms

    slap on the wrist, relatively mild criticism or censure: He got away with a slap on the wrist.

Origin of slap

1
First recorded in 1625–35, slap is from the Low German word slapp, slappe; of expressive orig.
Related formsslap·per, noun

Synonym study

1. See blow1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for slap on the wrist

slap

/ (slæp) /

noun

verb slaps, slapping or slapped

adverb informal

exactly; directlyslap on time
forcibly or abruptlyto fall slap on the floor
Derived Formsslapper, noun

Word Origin for slap

C17: from Low German slapp, German Schlappe, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with slap on the 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]

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