tempest in a teapot

teacup

[tee-kuhp]
noun
1.
a cup in which tea is served, usually of small or moderate size.
2.
Idioms
3.
tempest in a teacup/teapot, a disturbance or uproar about little or nothing: The fight over who should become the next assistant treasurer of the organization is just a tempest in a teacup. Also, storm in a teacup.

Origin:
1690–1700; tea + cup

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
teacup (ˈtiːˌkʌp)
 
n
1.  a cup out of which tea may be drunk, larger than a coffee cup
2.  Also called: teacupful the amount a teacup will hold, about four fluid ounces

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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 © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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