Have you ever heard the phrase “short shrift”? It first appeared in Shakespeare’s Richard III:
Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:
Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.
A short shrift refers to a rushed confession, especially one given to a prisoner about to be executed. In Shakespeare’s time, many criminals were sent straight to the gallows when found guilty, and a short shrift was their last chance to absolve their sins.
Figuratively, it has come to mean giving something (or someone) little consideration; it could also refer to a rude rejection. Here’s an example: “I can’t believe Katherine rejected that guy so quickly! She really gave him the short shrift. What a shrew!”