the small matter of (something)

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the small matter of (something)

Said in reference to a rather large or important issue that has not yet been completed or addressed. A: "Thank you for your services, Jennings. My valet will show you out." B: "Thank you, sir. However, there is still the small matter of my pay for the last three months."
See also: matter, of, small
References in classic literature ?
I really pity the poor fellow, and no longer ago than yesterday sent a small matter to his wife.
And, indeed, it seemed small matter for wonder, that for all his pervading, mad recklessness, Ahab did at times give careful heed to the condition of that dead bone upon which he partly stood.
Let the state be answered some small matter for the license, and the rest left to the lender; for if the abatement be but small, it will no whit discourage the lender.
Not only the generals in full parade uniforms, with their thin or thick waists drawn in to the utmost, their red necks squeezed into their stiff collars, and wearing scarves and all their decorations, not only the elegant, pomaded officers, but every soldier with his freshly washed and shaven face and his weapons clean and polished to the utmost, and every horse groomed till its coat shone like satin and every hair of its wetted mane lay smooth- felt that no small matter was happening, but an important and solemn affair.
Captain," resumed the other, untying his little wallet with great deliberation, and even in a manner to show he found satisfaction in the delay, "I wish to offer you a small matter of trade.
There is a small matter to-night in which you may take a hand if it so please you.
To leap across the intervening space was a small matter to the ape-man, and a moment later he was proceeding along a narrow tunnel, moving cautiously for fear of being precipitated into another shaft such as he had just crossed.
Glory be, 'tis a small matter at most, an' right in our neighbourhood--not a dozen blocks away.
When they were at work they could not even wipe off their faces--they were as helpless as newly born babes in that respect; and it may seem like a small matter, but when the sweat began to run down their necks and tickle them, or a fly to bother them, it was a torture like being burned alive.
Wherefore, bind the heathen crew, and bestow on them a small matter of stripes apiece, as earnest of our future justice.
Bulstrode had to the satisfaction of providing the money which had been serviceable to Lydgate--that it would be unkind in Lydgate not to grant her the position of being his helper in this small matter, the favor being entirely to her who had so little that was plainly marked out for her to do with her superfluous money.
But, comrade, it is in my mind that there is some small matter of dispute still open between us.
He has some small matter upon his mind which makes him restless.
But if the miller were to send me some eels as a return for my advice, I should tell him that he is too generous for such a small matter.
There was another small matter," he began in a detached tone, "which I wanted to speak to your husband about.
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