storm in a teacup


storm in a teacup (UK)
also, tempest in a teapot (US)


  • an excessive enthusiasm or rage about a minor matter
  • a small problem that is treated as much more critical
  • a situation in which a person is furious at something unimportant
  • overreacting about something that is not important
  • a minor incident that has been exaggerated out of proportion

Example Sentences

  1. I find the whole issue about these gender roles a storm in a teacup.
  2. All this argument because of deciding on who should do the dishes? What a storm in a teacup.
  3. All these matters should be resolved with haste without yet having another storm in a teacup.
  4. The race to be the number one tea producer is a relative storm in a teacup compared with the industrywide struggle to deal with a shrinking marketplace.
  5. I think this is all a storm in a teacup, and there is nothing to worry about.
  6. Eventually, the investigation team found that the issue was worth little more than a storm in a teacup.
  7. Big Brother show controversy is more than a storm in a teacup for most of the viewers.


The most used in Britain, “storm in a teacup” is first recorded in a book by a Scottish novelist Catherine Sinclair, Modern Accomplishments, or the March of Intellect, 1838:

“As for your father’s good-humoured jests being ever taken up as a serious affair, it really is like raising a storm in a teacup.”

However, there have been similar phrases preceding it in Britain like “storm in a wash-hand basin.”

See also: tempest in a teapot

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