small beer


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Related to small beer: Low alcohol beer

small 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.
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

BRITISH
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.
See also: beer, small

small beer

something 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.
See also: beer, small

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.
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 ?
A specialist company, Small Beer, is arranging the delivery of real ales from as far afield as Scotland, Yorkshire, and Norfolk, as well as Nuneaton's own brewery at Church End.
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.
Local wine is about pounds 3 a bottle and a small beer 50p.
The stucco-built but German-designed village is filled with shops, the Alpine Market with its European-style bakery and old-fashioned butcher, the Alpine Inn restaurant, a brewery, a wedding chapel where people really do get married, a flea market and even a traffic violators' school - located next to a small beer garden.
This naturally means that there is no such thing as a small beer in Portland and we were not complaining
But the Suarez debacle is actually small beer compared to the more interesting poser at Sheffield Utd.
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.
This might sound like early signs of delinquency, but in fact beer - small beer, as it was called - was the staple drink, since tea was prohibitively expensive and the water was potentially dangerous.
Equally, national sides don't fit into the modern game so that, sadly, the World Cup is small beer today.
3 (3/10) about the home win look pretty small beer.
That number is going to be small beer by the end of this winter.