small beer


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Related to small beer: Low alcohol beer

small beer

  (British, American & Australian informal) also small potatoes (American & Australian informal)
something that is not important, especially when compared to something else A loan of that size is small beer - these banks are lending millions of pounds a day. And we are not talking small potatoes - building the airport means many people in the area will lose their homes.
See also: beer, small

small beer

Also, small potatoes. Of little importance, as in Don't listen to Henry; he's small beer, or It's silly to worry about that bill; it's small potatoes. The first term alludes to a beer of low alcoholic content (also called light beer today) and was used metaphorically by Shakespeare in several plays. The variant may have been invented by frontiersman Davy Crockett; it was first recorded in 1836. Also see small fry, def. 2.
See also: beer, small

small beer

n. nothing or next to nothing; an insignificant person. (From a very old word for weak or inferior beer.) Small beer or not, he’s my customer, and I will see that he is taken care of.
See also: beer, small
References in periodicals archive ?
The pay for directors at pub giant Punch Taverns was no small beer last year.
But in retrospect, and given revelations during the Westminster expenses scandal, the way McLetchie got from A to B in Edinburgh now seems pretty small beer.
But an extra 60 members is very small beer in the larger scheme of things.
American jump racing is relatively small beer, but Black Jack Blues earned his title after winning the nation's richest race, the $250,000 Grand National Hurdle (former Breeders' Cup Chase), under Irish rider Ross Geraghty on his second US outing at Far Hills in New Jersey in October.
Then again, judging by my experience of Wales encounters at the Millennium Stadium when I've not been on work duty, it all seems - if you'll pardon the pun - a bit like small beer.
Some people would have us believe that it was all the fault of the Phoenix management, but the Labour government decided to stop volume car production at Longbridge and recent resumption of rather limited assembly of the new MG with major parts imported straight from China is very small beer by comparison.
I have to challenge Mr Gibson's opinion that 'telling a lie about where your opponent lives seems like pretty small beer.
However, one of the best pieces of the evening was a speech from David Lloyd George (Philip had played the part so well that family of the great man said it was like confronting the original), who was asking the House of Commons to dedicate attention to some of the expenses then being paid out by Parliament, which made even duck houses and moats seem small beer.
A few thousand pounds is small beer for vital intelligence on an employee who could end up being a costly burden.
Many small beer distributors don't advertise in newspapers because they believe it's too expensive, Duffy said.
I venture to suggest by the time each person in Wales has paid for all of Plaid's spending plans, the present rise in council taxes will seem like very small beer indeed.
They may seem like small beer but these frauds add up to a staggering sum.
The Keg-a-que (a portable mini-grill in the shape of a small beer keg, perfect for beer-battered anything): $68.
Mr Hopkinson added: "While the numbers announced to date are small beer to the totals, the signifi-cance lies with the fact that whilst traditional shops have been closing, it has been the supermarkets and convenience stores that have been expanding significantly which has kept the occupancy rates balanced.
If they can afford transport to promote a hobby, PS35 is small beer.