T-learning # Idiom
Speak Like a Native

to make a fuss about something

Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to show too much emotion about something

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

To make a fuss about something is to show too much emotion about something considered to be insignificant. The amount of emotion displayed is far greater than the situation deserves.

To make a fuss over someone can be used also, and describes giving someone a lot of attention.

The idiom is said to date back to the 1800s.

French translation

To make a fuss about something
faire (toute) une histoire, faire des histoires, des chichis

To make a fuss of/ over someone
être aux petits soins pour quelqu’un

Literal translation : *faire un tapage


Examples in context

‘So what if Britain is a country of complainers ? We want to make the world a better place

“We’ve become a nation of moaners,” warns one doomster, lamenting the fact that the British no longer “suffer in silence” as we did in the good old days. Ah yes, remember the good old days, when we were world champions of grinning and bearing it and the trains were useless, the food was foul and the car wouldn’t start if there was a light dusting of frost ?

One reason things are so much better today – trains, food, cars – is because people figured out that the meek may inherit the earth, but if they want a faulty fridge replaced in this life they will have to make a fuss.’

The Telegraph, 16 February 2016


‘Haiti Sees Tourism Promises Fade Amidst Electoral Tensions

At first, the fleet of tiny, hand-painted fishing boats, with hundreds of Haitians slamming cooking pans, chanting and playing music, was mistaken for a welcome ceremony. On Jan. 19 Freedom of the Seas’ passengers were about to disembark onto a new $55-million pier and visit Labadee, a Caribbean wonderland of zip-lines, BBQ-buffets and palm-thatched cabanas, hyped as “the ultimate private destination for cruise vacationers.”

Then they noticed the coast guards and the banners reading “USA Away !” As the ship continued to its next port, Jamaica, the loudspeakers reassured the passengers : this was just a local Haitian matter that had to do with upcoming elections.

“We feel like our island, our paradise, is being threatened,” says Pierre Kenold Alexis, a teacher, seated under a hibiscus bush in the garden he fears he might lose. “If they are trying to push me out of my community, I will make a fuss. There is nowhere that I can live better than this island.”’

TIME, 26 January 2016


Everyday usage

We need to stick to our original goals rather than make a fuss about distractions like what the competition are doing.

As these figures are directly linked to the profit we are likely to gain in the future, it’s definitely worth making a fuss about.

Don’t make such a fuss about it ! All will be resolved once we find the missing reports.

b) to have an obsession with something

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to have doubts about something

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

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