Battle of Little Bighorn a battle in which General George Custer and his forces were defeated by Sioux warriors on 25 June 1876, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand. It took place in the valley of the Little Bighorn River in Montana.
Little Englander a person who opposes an international role or policy for England (or, in practice, for Britain). The term dates from the late 19th century, and is currently often used in relation to opposition to Europe.
little fish are sweet figurative use to indicate that even a small gift or sum of money can be very welcome; saying recorded from the mid 19th century.
little gentleman in black velvet the mole, as a Jacobite toast, referring to the belief that William III's death resulted from the king's being thrown from his horse, Sorrel, when it stumbled on a molehill.
little green man an imaginary being from outer space. The expression is not recorded until the mid-20th century; the earliest literal use of the phrase, in Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), refers to a Pictish warrior who is tattooed green.
little leaks sink the ship something apparently trivial may still cause serious damage; proverbial saying, early 17th century.
little local difficulties deliberately dismissive phrase used by Harold Macmillan (1894–1986) as Prime Minister, before leaving for a Commonwealth tour in January 1958, referring to the resignation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other members of the Cabinet.
Little Lord Fauntleroy the boy hero of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), who wore velvet suits with lace collars, and had his hair in ringlets.
little pitchers have large ears children are likely to overhear what is not meant for them (a pitcher's ears are its handles); proverbial saying, mid 16th century.
a little pot is soon hot a small person quickly becomes angry or passionate; proverbial saying, mid 16th century.
Little Red Riding-hood the heroine of the nursery story by the French writer Charles Perrault (1628–1703), in which a woodcutter's daughter is menaced by a wolf which has eaten her grandmother and is lying in wait, disguised as the grandmother, for Red Riding-Hood herself.
little strokes fell great oaks a person or thing of size and stature can be brought down by a series of small blows; proverbial saying, early 15th century.
little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape sufficient power and influence can ensure that a wrongdoer is not punished. The saying is recorded in English from the mid 17th century; the related ‘little thieves are hanged, not big ones’ is found earlier in late 14th-century French.
little things please little minds often used as a rebuke or rejoinder; proverbial saying from the late 16th century. The Roman poet Ovid (43 bc–ad c. 17) in Ars Amatoria has, ‘small things enthral light minds.’
there is no little enemy proverbial saying, mid 17th century, meaning that any enemy can be dangerous; Chaucer in the Tale of Melibee (c.1386) has, ‘Ne be nat necligent to kepe thy persone, nat oonly fro thy grettest enemys, but fro thy leeste enemy. Senek seith: ‘.A man that is well avysed, he dredeth his leste enemy.’. ’