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small beer

noun
1.
weak beer.
2.
Chiefly British Slang. matters or persons of little or no importance.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for small-beer

small beer

noun
1.
(informal, mainly Brit) people or things of no importance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for small-beer

small beer

n.

1560s, originally "weak beer;" used figuratively of small things or trifling matters. Small with the meaning "of low alcoholic content" is attested from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for small-beer

small beer

noun

Something or someone insignificant: that idea is just small beer


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with small-beer

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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for small beer

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for small

7
10
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