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rap someone's knuckles

Slang definitions & phrases for rap someone's knuckles

rap someone's knuckles

verb phrase

To give a light and insufficient punishment; GIVE someone A SLAP ON THE WRIST: Tokyo had been rapped over the knuckles

[1749+; the dated instance might indicate a more severe punishment than modern use does]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with rap someone's knuckles

rap someone's knuckles

Reprimand, as in If I'd seen John take that last piece of cake, I'd have rapped his knuckles. This term transfers a physical punishment to a verbal one. [ Late 1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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