small potatoes

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See also: small-potatoes

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A specialization of a sense of potato meaning a thing of little value, and a comment on the low value of a small potato in particular, appearing in its modern form in North America in the mid-19th century (see 1855 quotation).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

small potatoes pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) One or more persons or things of relatively little consequence, importance, or value.
    My paycheck is small potatoes compared to hers.
    He no longer works for individuals, since they are small potatoes compared to his corporate clients.
    • 1855, Thomas Chandler Haliburton, “Unlocking a Woman's Heart”, in Nature and Human Nature[1], volume 1, page 38:
      It's small potatoes for a man-o-war to be hunting poor game, like us little fore and afters."

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