I'm looking for an idiom to describe something that has a negligible effect.

The only similar question I found here was: An idiom meaning someone's doing something useless and has no result at the end, but I'm looking for something else.

I remember it being something to do with water or fire. Something along the lines of throwing a very small amount of water on a large fire? Does anyone know what I'm thinking of?


3 Answers 3


We will need a little more context to clearly understand what you have in mind. For now, a drop in the ocean or a drop in the bucket comes to mind.

a drop in the ocean  (British, American & Australian) also a drop in the
bucket (American)

a very small amount in comparison to the amount that is needed 

A hundred thousand may seem a lot but it's a drop in the ocean compared to                  
the millions that need to be spent.

This expression comes to mind:

like extinguishing a forest fire with an eyedropper


Like water off a duck's ass (or back)

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