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I am looking for a word/word phrase native English speakers use as an expression for 'a tiny detail' / 'a small thing' (when mentioning something but adding that it is not so important). I came across the word 'a trifle' but am not familiar if and when it is used in this meaning. Do you say - 'such a trifle'?

Example: Such a tiny detail/such a small thing - I wish there was a night lamp in the room.

Thank you in advance!

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    Do you mean "minutia (plural - "minutiae"? Without more context, I don't feel confident giving this as an answer. dictionary.com/browse/minutia?s=t – user361733 Sep 16 '19 at 22:02
  • @Nancy There is an example; it's certainly not jot/tittle territory. – Andrew Leach Sep 16 '19 at 23:00
  • Trifle sounds far more natural to me than the words given in any of the answers. If your question is Do you say "such a trifle"? then the answer is yes. Otherwise, if you want a different word, you need to explain what's wrong with trifle itself, such that something else would be better. (And just saying you aren't familiar with it can be resolved by any dictionary.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Sep 17 '19 at 5:18
  • Thank you for all your comments! I just wanted to find out whether 'a trifle' is used in everyday speech, not just an entry in the dictionary :-). I do not find anything wrong with the word. Thank you once again! – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:29
  • @Jason Bassford So it would be fine to say: such a trifle - I wish there was a night lamp in the room? – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:34
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no biggie (Cambridge Dictionary)

used to say that something is not a serious problem:

I was a little disappointed that they don't serve brunch on Saturdays, but hey, no biggie.

Using no biggie in the example sentence (It's being optional):

(It's) no biggie, but I wish there was a night lamp in the room.

Merriam-Webster lists no biggie as an idiom (informal, with or without it's).

Another simple definition and example of the phrase no biggie (Lexico.com):

Used to indicate that something is of little consequence.

‘no biggie, I'm not in a hurry’

You could also say "no big deal." Lexico.com gives the same defintion for it.


(US, SE Region)

  • Thank you! A great suggestion! – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:30
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minutia noun

mi·​nu·​tia | \ mə-ˈnü-sh(ē-)ə , mī-, -ˈnyü-\ plural minutiae\ mə-​ˈnü-​shē-​ˌē , -​ˌī , mī-​ , -​ˈnyü-​ , -​sh(ē-​)ə \

Definition of minutia

: a minute or minor detail —usually used in plural

He was bewildered by the contract's minutiae.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minutia

  • Thank you for your suggestion! – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:30
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It’s a nitpick:

a carping, petty criticism.

(Dictionary.com based off Random House)

For example:

Kind of a nitpick but am I the only one who hates how Black Widow's hair looks so fresh out the salon for a spy. Lol

(ifunny.co)

  • Its a nit, perhaps. The nitpick is the person who harps on it. – Hot Licks Sep 16 '19 at 22:40
  • Thank you for your suggestion! – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:31
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picayunish TFD

of little value or account; small; trifling.

petty, carping, or prejudiced.

As in"

So picayunish, but I wish there was a night lamp in the room.

Hear the word "picky" in picayune (though they're not related)? That's one way to remember it. Sometimes, picayune details that leads them to understanding. Often they are so small and inconsequential that they just ... fade away!

  • Thank you for your suggestion! – Ronja Sep 17 '19 at 10:31

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