A “small beer” – una cerveza pequeña – is perhaps something that you drink sometimes.
However, if a person is “a small beer” (de poca importancia) he is of little or no importance. Someone could be a small beer in the world of business, politics, the arts – in many fields of life.
Things can be “small beer”, meaning that they are of little or trifling (insignificante) importance. Some examples:
- In terms of importance among world leaders Mr. Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, is small beer.
- 5 million pounds is small beer in the context of the UK´s government spending.
There is another expression:
- Life is not all beer and skittles (a skittle = un bolo).
This means that life is not always fun – it has its serious sides. Perhaps in Spanish a similar phrase is “la vida no es todo jauja”. “Life is not a beach” is similar (click here to read the article).
So, are you a small beer, who sometimes has a small beer?