tempest in a teapot, a
a tempest in a teapot
A disproportionate reaction of anger, concern, or displeasure over some minor or trivial matter. If you ask me, these protests are nothing but a tempest in a teapot that's been stoked by a media campaign of misinformation. I really think you're making a tempest in a teapot over this. It's just a tiny scratch on the car! A: "Does anyone know why Al's so upset?" B: "Oh, it's just the usual tempest in a teapot—someone ate his leftovers again."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tempest in a teapot
Also, tempest in a teacup. A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance. For example, All that because a handful of the thousand invited guests didn't show up? What a tempest in a teapot! This expression has appeared in slightly different forms for more than 300 years. Among the variations are storm in a cream bowl, tempest in a glass of water, and storm in a hand-wash basin. The British prefer storm in a teacup. The current American forms were first recorded in 1854. For a synonym, see much ado about nothing.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a tempest in a teapotAMERICAN
If you describe a situation or an argument as a tempest in a teapot, you mean that people are very angry or upset about it, but it is not really important and will soon be over. He said that the argument over the painting was a tempest in a teapot. He believed that the agency's clash with the company was, in effect, a tempest in a teapot and that they would take appropriate action to calm the agency. Note: The usual British expression is a storm in a teacup.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
tempest in a teapot, a
A storm over a trifle; much ado about nothing. This expression has appeared in slightly varying forms for hundreds of years—a storm in a cream bowl (1678 letter from the duke of Ormond to the earl of Arlington), a tempest in a glass of water (the grand duke Paul of Russia, ca. 1790), a storm in a hand-wash basin (Lord Thurlow, ca. 1830), and, throughout much of the nineteenth century, a storm in a teacup (still preferred in Britain). In the twentieth century it changed to its present form, at least in America.
See also: tempest
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer