- tempest in a teacup/teapot, a disturbance or uproar about little or nothing: The fight over who should become the next assistant treasurer of the organization is just a tempest in a teacup.Also storm in a teacup.
Origin of teacup
- a cup out of which tea may be drunk, larger than a coffee cup
- Also called: teacupful the amount a teacup will hold, about four fluid ounces
tempest in a teapot
Also, tempest in a teacup. A great disturbance or uproar over a matter of little or no importance. For example, All that because a handful of the thousand invited guests didn't show up? What a tempest in a teapot! This expression has appeared in slightly different forms for more than 300 years. Among the variations are storm in a cream bowl, tempest in a glass of water, and storm in a hand-wash basin. The British prefer storm in a teacup. The current American forms were first recorded in 1854. For a synonym, see much ado about nothing.