Monday, July 14, 2008

Tempest in a glass of water....Much ado about nothing.

"A tempest in a tea pot", which we used in our last post (meaning "something blown out of proportion") is an American English expression. The British equivalent is actually "A storm in a teacup"
[other less popular alternatives are "a storm in a cream bowl" and "a storm in a wash-hand basin" (The big Oxford English Dictionary via World Wide Words]
The American expression seems to be the older of the two most famous ones. It wasfirst recorded in 1838 in:
a long-defunct journal called The United States Democratic Review of January 1838 about the Supreme Court: “This collegiate tempest in a teapot might serve for the lads of the University to moot; but, surely, was unworthy the solemn adjudication attempted for it”.

As for the French equivalent, it is "Tempête dans un verre d'eau" = "Tempest in a glass of water" and it is said to haved first appeared in 1849.

This is all the same as "much ado about nothing" of course, which was created by Shakespeare (although before the play by that name)


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