In Science By Alexandra

Values ​​and uses of idiomatic expression «a big deal»

Any language in existence on this planet is unique and interesting. And, of course, in every language we find a million features, curiosities and just moments without interest use of certain words. Typically, the most receptive curiosities concerning various expression — a variety of idioms and phrasal units. On one of them I would like to tell you in this article.

So, we will focus on the infamous phrase a big deal, that we all know but do not always understand. As with any idiom, it is not always a literal translation, and largely thanks to such phrases, saying painted in shades with a certain emotional load.

This idiomatic expression first used during the Second World War, and initially had only one meaning: biggie, big shot. This value is given as the primary embodiment of the translation dictionaries Merriam-Webster and the new English-Russian dictionary. Initially, the phrase was created by idiomatic phrases a big boy, which is also translated «biggie», «bump», but always wears a disparaging character:

They were the real big boys on Wall Street — they were tycoons of Wall Street.

Synonymous with the phrase a big deal in such a value expression can be called big cheese, big enchilada, big fish, big gun, big shot, big wheel, head honcho (all expressions are translated the same way — an important influential person).

Peter is a big fish in politics — Peter «big fish» in the policy.

But it should be noted that these days a big deal phrase is used more often in other values. For example, Macmillan Dictionary gives the following meaning:

  • A big deal means something that is very important (something which is especially important):

    Poverty is a big deal in this country.

Derived phrases from the phrase is a big deal, for example, as follows:

  • It’s no big deal (not a problem, nothing, something that does not matter):

    It is no big deal if they can not buy a car right now.

  • Make a big deal (out) of something — behave as if it is very important (to behave in relation to something as if it is something very important):

    The weather is just great but he is nervous and is going to take too much warm clothes. I do not know why he makes a big deal out of the broadcast.

Other sources cite another interesting meaning of the phrase a big deal:

  • Big deal — Big deal! As if there is something to talk about! — Is it frequently used in everyday speech, is a shade of scorn:

    So they are going to travel next week? Big deal!

Modern Dictionary of English Webster results in a similar meaning:

  • A big deal — That’s prodigy! Is low value!

    «It’s not a big deal to fail the exam», she told me, but started to cry.

  • Oh, big deal! — Thank you and on.
  • Not a big deal really — nothing special.

Here, perhaps, the list of the most commonly used values ​​of the idiom. Of all these, we see that it is definitely a conversational option, and it is rare to find in the official language. But the phrase is also easy to find in the literature and in the lyrics. For example, one of the songs of Lara Fabian is called «No big deal». Below is a video of the song and its lyrics.

Looking from a distance, seems like I’ve lost it all
and everyone around me is waiting for this girl to fall
But my heart is not missing I just lost control
If I do not know why, Why would I know how?

I’ve been working with the devils trying to exorcize
My feelings I’ve been hiding down in the darker side
There was not any trading, I never sold my soul
I’m simply moving on; Going, gone …


I think I’m losing my fight
To make sense of it all
Got to build on my lie
So I’m safe from the fall
I’m subjected, expected to know what I feel
But I do not feel nothing
It’s alright, no big deal

How can I expect anybody to understand
I’ve been sadly mistreating all of my own demands
Now all I need is freedom, not this ego-land
Wanna do no wrong I’m simply moving on
I’m going, going, gone …

And after all I know, there’s nothing left to say
And if it’s all my fault I’ll take it all
I’m moving on; Going, going, gone …




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