See title. I'm looking for idiomatic ways to say something like this - over-emphasizing something, worrying about it overly much, etc.

Bonus points if a literal 大 (whether read as だい or おお) is involved; I'm hoping to make a particular bit of wordplay work. Alternatively, perhaps a way of talking about "using 大 as a prefix to a word" that could have the former connotations?

  • How about using 大げさ?
    – Lukman
    Aug 19 '11 at 5:03
  • Is that literally something like "enlarge"? That doesn't really seem to carry the same meaning as in English... I'm not at all familiar with ~げさ though... pretty noobish to tell the truth. Aug 19 '11 at 5:14
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    No. 大げさ means "exaggeration" and you can use 大げさに言う to say "to exaggerate"
    – Lukman
    Aug 19 '11 at 5:23

Anything wrong with just a good-ole 大したものにしないで? Plus that should nab me some bonus points!


大したものにしないで → 大【たい】した・もの・に・しないで

  • 大した → "serious", "important", lit. "made big"
  • 大したもの or 大したこと → "a serious/important matter/thing", "a big deal"
  • 〜にする → "make it this way"
  • 〜ないでください or 〜ないでくれ → "(Please) don't do"
    • しないで → "Don't do" (with ください・くれ omitted)

I guess I subconsciously thought the title of the post said "don't make a big deal [about/out of/of] X", but now I see that it clearly does not.

  • I'm not even sure I can divide that into words properly, much less translate it... help? Aug 19 '11 at 18:02
  • Ah, I somehow didn't recognize that しない is a conjugation of する... I guess 大したもの would emphasize the actions taken to 'make it a big deal' whereas 大したこと would emphasize the feeling that things are serious? Also I think I'm not following the use of particle に here (doesn't help that I misread it as こ the first time >_<)... Anyway, it seems the infinitive form 大したものにする would work... can I just add an Xを clause in there somewhere? Aug 19 '11 at 20:13
  • BTW, why isn't の required before もの/こと here? Aug 19 '11 at 20:24
  • Right, もの vs. こと is like a concrete vs. abstract "thing"; they overlap a lot though. の isn't required because it's a modifying-adjective form of the verb. The same way that 行った人 means "the person who went", 大したもの is "the thing that was made serious".
    – istrasci
    Aug 19 '11 at 20:51
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    Later: aha, に is just marking an indirect object as usual... 'a big deal' is the indirect object, and the direct object of する is the thing being made into a big deal. I guess that's really the same in English... Aug 19 '11 at 22:51

I think what you're looking for is some variant on 過ぎる【すぎる】. It can mean "go beyond" or "go by" as in a physical sense, but is often used in a sense of "going too far" or "doing too much" in the sense you're talking about.

I've often seen it used with just hiragana when trying to convey that meaning. For example:

心配しすぎる 【しんぱい しすぎる】 (over worrying)

強調しすぎた 【きょうちょう しすぎた】 (over emphasized)

For "making a big deal of X", as asked for in the comments, you could do this:

Xを大騒ぎする 【Xを おおさわぎする】 (Making a big deal out of X)

It doesn't use すぎる, which I think is a good general solution given your original question, but for the sentence you specifically asked about, this is a more or less direct translation which should do the trick.

  • Actually it's more like just "making a big deal out of X". It's for the title of a work, so a sentence fragment is OK. "Making too much of it" would work. Aug 19 '11 at 6:02
  • Reading this more closely to try to make sense of it... how does the attachment with き work grammatically? And what is the function of し in the first two examples? Aug 19 '11 at 6:28
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    @Karl The し came from removing ます from the ます form of する: する -> します -> remove ます -> し, also known as conjunctive form. You need to make the first verb into conjunctive form before appending すぎる. 飲む -> 飲み -> 飲み過ぎる (too drink excessively)
    – Lukman
    Aug 19 '11 at 6:53
  • The question title is "How can I say "make a big deal [about/out of/of] X"?". I don't know how finely we are splitting hairs here, but it seems to me that "making a big deal out of X"; "Making too much of it" is really the same thing... saiga-jp.com gives meanings for 騒 that mostly relate to making a noise, making a fuss; I'm looking more for a sense of worrying/anxiety/drama, I think. This still seems to be a strong candidate though... as for the X, is it grammatical to just drop in それ/これ here? Aug 19 '11 at 7:37
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    Karl: I always take a title to be merely an introduction, and the main body to be what the asker specifically wants. In any case, 騒ぐ means anxiety and drama about as much as "make a big deal" does in English, so from what you're saying I would say it's the best candidate. And yes, you can put in それ, これ, or あれ, as you see fit. Perfectly grammatical.
    – Questioner
    Aug 19 '11 at 7:45

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