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Related to small beer: Low alcohol beer
A tiny, trifling, and/or inconsequential person, thing, or amount (of something). Primarily heard in UK. To most people, £2,000 is a lot to spend on anything, but it's small beer to the country's mega rich. I've been trying to raise my concerns about the project, but I'm small beer to the company's upper management.
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.
COMMON If something is small beer, it is unimportant compared with another thing. The five million pound subsidy is, however, small beer compared to the amounts that European governments give their film industries. The present series of royal scandals makes the 1936 abdication look like pretty small beer. Note: `Small beer' originally meant weak beer.
small beersomething trivial or insignificant. chiefly British
Originally, small beer meant literally ‘weak beer’.
2005 Observer Music Monthly Getting called a ‘Paki’ by ill-informed racists was very small beer compared to being shot at by Sinhalese government forces chasing her father.
small ˈbeer(British English) (American English small poˈtatoes) something that has little importance or value: Jacob earns about $40 000, but that’s small beer compared with his brother’s salary.
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.