What's the phrase for when you don't make a big deal about something that is a big deal?

I'm sure it goes something like "____ off" or "____ it off" but I can't think of what fills the blank and it's really annoying me!

  • shake it off, brush it off, no never mind
    – WRX
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 1:18
  • @WillowRex - What does “no never mind” mean in your comment?
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 1:28
  • @J.R. it is an expression that means, "no big deal".
    – WRX
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 1:30
  • @WillowRex - Perhaps so, but in a different sense than “shake it off” or “brush it off.” I’d use shake/brush it off when telling someone to not get too worked up about something. (Example: “The coach yelled at me because I turned the ball over...” Reply: “Just brush it off!”) On the other hand, I picture “Never mind” used when someone wants to diffuse an argument or drop an issue. That’s also “not making a big deal about something," but in a different way. If I’m correctly interpreting this, I think it should be clarified for the learner.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


The word you might be looking for is


which literally means to put less emphasis (down) when describing something (play).

If you must use something with off

shake it off
brush it off

can be used if something has happened to you, and means to "ignore it", but not to deemphasize it.

write it off

has the meaning to accept that something bad has happened.

Write it off to experience.

  • Yes thank you! Shake it off was just what I was looking for
    – George
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 2:13

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