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Today, after learning English for decades, I learned that the expression "to make a hen out of a feather" apparently is Swedish-only, and that nobody outside Sweden would understand this (other than guessing what it means).

Apparently, the English version is "to make a mountain out of a molehill". I frankly have never heard that one before, even though I've consumed insane amounts of English-language media spanning from the early 1900s to the present.

If I had said "you're making a hen out of a feather" to somebody in the USA or UK or any other native-English country, would they look at me funny and wonder what that is about?

Mountain... out of a molehill? It doesn't sound right somehow. Is there really no other variant in English which is more common?

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    The expression is completely unfamiliar to me (lifelong US speaker), though it is not difficult to decode its meaning. If I do a Google search for "hen out of a feather", the top results are all about the Swedish phrase. (My search history and IP geolocation do not have anything Swedish about them) Jan 31, 2020 at 5:36
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    "Making a mountain out of a molehill" is a very common idiom and is really spot on. Other phrases that describe the situation are "make a big deal [out of [nothing]]" and "blow [it] out of proportion". Jan 31, 2020 at 5:39
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    Once you've made a mountain out of a molehill you may have raised a storm in a teacup. Jan 31, 2020 at 6:15
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    (storm in a teacup is rendered tempest in a teapot in the US) books.google.com/ngrams/… Jan 31, 2020 at 7:26
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    “Mountains out of molehills” is a common expression in Australia, but I’ve never heard of the “hens out of feathers” version. For example, in a famous twist in the TV comedy series “Kath and Kim”, Magda Szubanski’s character says Kim was making a mountain out of a molehill but then says, “The two molls in this case were...”. It’s funny because she thinks the mole in molehill is “moll” (Australian slang for “a bad girl with loose morals”, akin to outdated AmE “gangster’s moll”) playing on the idea that Australians are not very familiar with the animal “mole”. Feb 1, 2020 at 4:01

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This saying is from the danish writer Hans Christian Andersons fairytale: "It`s perfectly true". Its a story about how one feather becomes 5 dead hens because of gossip.

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