I've been using an idiom ambiguously: "That's small dice."

  1. Does this refer to unfavorable outcomes in games of chance? (equivalent to "chump change", like "those are small dice"?). See also "no dice", which has origins in craps.

  2. Or rather, is the idiom a reference to diced food? (equivalent to "overly scrupulous"?)

Example usage.

  • Sorry if this seems like small dice, but I've double booked Wednesday evenings...
  • Also one time she accidentally tripped me in capture the flag, but that's small dice compared...(weird expression... small dice, what does that even mean?)... [sic] to this one time, we were on a bus going to a music contest for my orchestra, and some of the other people in orchestra dared her to call me "sexy". http://armorgames.com/community/thread/8027776/the-rant-thread
  • You didn't link to any examples of "small dice". In any case, it does not appear to be a common idiom at all, as I only get ~4 Google results, with the earliest being from 2011.
    – Laurel
    Oct 31, 2017 at 23:01
  • I see. 2 examples: 1. no dice as in "Can you lend me ten dollars? Sorry, no dice." 2. "Sorry if this seems like small dice, but I've double booked Wednesday evenings..." Oct 31, 2017 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


The idiom I know of is 'small potatoes'.

Perhaps yours is a local adaptation. I get nothing on it, personally, except the NGram (see below).

small potatoes : something or someone insignificant; small fry. This contract is small potatoes, but it keeps us in business till we get into the real money. Small potatoes are better than no potatoes at all.

Free Dictionary.

NGram returns a result for 'small dice' however, falling to 1960, then coming back up to 2000.

NGram for small potatoes shows a stronger result.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.