A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 12, 2012
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”

"Don’t sweat the small stuff” became a popular saying from books such as Michael R. Mantell’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: P.S., It’s All Small Stuff (1988) and Richard Carlson’s bestseller, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff—and It’s All Small Stuff (1997). The saying began in 1950s teen slang. “Don’t sweat over the small stuff” is from a “Teen Scene” newspaper article in 1958 and ”Don’t sweat the small stuff: Don’t let minor troubles bother you” is from a “Teen-Age Slang” newspaper article in 1959.

“No sweat” is a slang term from the Korean War in the early 1950s. There was a military slang newspaper cartoon called “Small Stuff,” so it’s possible that elements of the 1950s teen slang phrase came from the military.


The Free Dictionary
Don’t sweat the small stuff. (American informal)
something that you say in order to tell someone not to worry about things that are not important

12 June 1958, The News (Newport, RI), “Teen Scene” by Gretchen Buxbaum and Tom Galvin, pg. 15, col. 1:
Other favorites are the expression “Don’t sweat over the small stuff” and the song “Padre.”
(Tom Martellino of the 3B class at De La Salle—ed.)

11 November 1959, Seattle (WA) Times, “Teen-Age Slang; A Warning,” pg. 21, col. 1:
Don’t sweat the small stuff: Don’t let minor troubles bother you.
(From students at Lincoln High School—ed.)

That’s all. I have to bug out. And if these definitions don’t jibe exactly with yours, Jack, cool it; don’t sweat the small stuff.

30 November 1960, Rockford (IL) Register-Republic, “Second Record To Be Released,” pg. D7, cols. 3-4:
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” derives its name from a title search conducted in study hall at East High School, where Mutimer is a student.
(...)
“I was sitting at school. I turned to the friend next to me and asked for help. ‘Help with what?’ he asked. ‘My record,’ I said. ‘Don’ tsweat the small stuff,’ he said. That was it.”

Mutimer explains that the phrase, in everyday English. means, “Don’t become concerned over matters of no great importance.”
(Steve Mutimer’s Rhythm Kings—ed.)

Google News Archive
9 September 1963, Sarasota (FL) , “S.M.H.P.News” by Katie Shobe, pg. 12, col. 2:
Speaking os Sarasota in the news, did you see the article, “Never the Small Stuff” by W. W. Ward, condensed from this paper and in the August Readers Digest. A very good article to read and remember. How many times we get all “worked up,” so to speak, over some little frustration of no consequence. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” There is enough “big stuff” to worry about.

1 November 1964, Marietta (GA) Daily Journal, “Teen-Age Voters Getting Attention” (UPI), pg. 4B, col. 1:
One Johnson-Humphrey youth group in Georgia has issued a bumper sticker that says: “Don’t sweat the small stuff, vote Democratic.”

5 November 1964, Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, pg. 28, col. 5 (The name of the comic strip isn’t here. It appears to be signed by Ernst Saunders. “Mary Worth” was written by John Saunders and Kenneth Ernest--ed.):
DISTRAUGHT WOMAN:  OH, JIM!...I DESPISE MYSELF!...FOR WHAT I SAID...AND DID!
MAN:  IT’S OKAY HONEY!...LIKE THEY SAY..."DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF”

Google Books
The Sterile Cuckoo
By John Treadwell Nichols
New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
1965
Pg. 102:
I shrugged. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Author: Marie Frost
Publisher: Wheaton, Ill. : Key Publishers, 1973.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t sweat the small stuff ; Establishing the need for good news
Author: Marvin Phillips; Garnett Church of Christ (Tulsa, Okla.)
Publisher: Tulsa OK : Garnett Church of Christ, 1980.
Edition/Format: Audiobook on Cassette : Cassette recording : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t sweat the small stuff : P.S., it’s all small stuff
Author: Michael R Mantell
Publisher: San Luis Obispo, Calif. : Impact Publishers, ©1988.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t sweat the small stuff!
Author: Cheryl Kirking
Publisher: Lake Mills, Wis. : Mill Pond Music, 1994.
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : Popular music : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Don’t sweat the small stuff—and it’s all small stuff : simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life
Author: Richard Carlson
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, ©1997.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
From the co-author of the bestselling Handbook of the Soul comes a collection of short essays on attaining peace of mind by learning to let go of small aggravations.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (1) Comments • Wednesday, September 12, 2012 • Permalink


Funny I always say don’t sweat it without knowing the origins.

Posted by Goal Getters  on  10/02  at  08:56 PM

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