Word of the Day

Friday, September 08, 2006

small beer

\small beer\ , noun;
1.
Weak beer.
2.
Insignificant matters; something of little importance.
adjective:
1.
Unimportant; trivial.
Quotes:
We dined early upon stale bread and old mutton with small beer.
-- Ferdinand Mount,, Jem (and Sam)
I was not born for this kind of small beer, says Joan the wife of the colonial governor, who imagines leading armies or "droves of inflamed poets."
-- Nancy Willard, "The Nameless Women of the World", New York Times, December 18, 1988
Call me a geek, but for biologists, marvels like the parasitic flatworm are on tap every day, making the reveries of Hollywood seem like small beer.
-- Jerry A. Coyne, "The Truth Is Way Out There", New York Times, October 10, 1999
Origin:
Small beer is beer of only slight alcoholic strength; the other senses are derivative.
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