short shrift


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to short shrift: heads up, get short shrift, give short shrift

short shrift

n.
1. Summary, careless treatment; scant attention: These annoying memos will get short shrift from the boss.
2. Quick work.
3.
a. A short respite, as from death.
b. The brief time before execution granted a condemned prisoner for confession and absolution.
Word History: To be given short shrift is not the blessing it once was. The source of our verb shrive (shrove, shriven) and noun shrift, which have technical meanings from ecclesiastical Latin, is Classical Latin scrībere, "to write." Shrive comes from the Old English verb scrīfan, "to decree, decree after judgment, impose a penance upon (a penitent), hear the confession of." The past participle of scrīfan is scrifen, our shriven. The noun shrift, "penance; absolution," comes from Old English scrift with the same meaning, which comes from scrīptus, the perfect passive participle of scrībere, and means "what is written," or, to use the Latin word, "what is prescribed." Theologians and confessors viewed the sacrament of penance as a prescription that cured a moral illness. In early medieval times penances were long and arduous—lengthy pilgrimages and even lifelong exile were not uncommon—and had to be performed before absolution, not after as today. However, less demanding penances could be given in extreme situations; short shrift was a brief penance given to a person condemned to death so that absolution could be granted before execution.

short shrift

n
1. brief and unsympathetic treatment
2. (Historical Terms) (formerly) a brief period allowed to a condemned prisoner to make confession
3. make short shrift of to dispose of quickly and unsympathetically

short′ shrift′


n.
1. a brief time for confession or absolution given to a condemned prisoner before his or her execution.
2. little attention or consideration in dealing with a person or matter.
[1585–95]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.short shrift - a brief and unsympathetic rejection; "they made short shrift of my request"
rejection - the speech act of rejecting
Translations
pikatuomio
References in classic literature ?
It did not take Michael long to learn this, and stray dogs got short shrift from him.
Both men and women were armed with long-swords and daggers, but no firearms were in evidence, else it had been short shrift for the gruesome plant men of Barsoom.
If Ulysses is the man he then was these suitors will have a short shrift and a sorry wedding.
They were given short shrift. Drumhead court martial was their portion, and military execution their end.
"Ay" said he, "if they got hands on me, it would be a short shrift and a lang tow for Alan!
It had been short shrift for Peter of Colfax that night had not John and Guy and another of his henchmen rushed into the room with drawn swords.
The light and the warmth of the studio impressed him favourably; he laid down his little bag, rubbed his hands together, and produced a smile of satisfaction; but it was such a smile as a totally ruined man would perhaps force on his lips, or a man condemned to a short shrift by his doctor.
He hath given the Bishop of Hereford command over all these men, and thou knowest what thou hast to expect of the Bishop of Hereford-- short shrift and a long rope.
This assertion seems to give short shrift to the medieval prologue, but there can be no denying the seminal importance of printing and of classical rhetoric in changing the author's conception of his activity and its result.
Rose has given short shrift, as well, to the men who fought the war.
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: "They [the Government] will find short shrift from us if they think they can act in this way and then just expect us to meekly acquiesce in their plans to get Sinn Fein into Government.
DEMANDS by President Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that Britain continues with its European referendum were yesterday given short shrift by Downing Street.