They deserve a good clap on the back

I heard this one today on our local public radio station, WESA.  The speaker was referring to the ACLU pursuing lawsuits against Pennsylvania laws supporting DOMA in response to the recent Supreme Court decision.  He meant to say “pat on the back” (praise), but seems to have confused “slap on the wrist” (mild punishment) and “clap your hands”.  Certainly clap as used as a noun has another meaning so my guess is he meant to say “pat”.