flea

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Related to Fleas: Sand fleas

a flea in (one's) ear

A sharp, strident, or disconcerting reproof or rebuff. She gave me a flea in my ear over my spending habits. I'll be sure to put a flea in his ear the next time I see him!
See also: ear, flea

flea market

A typically outdoor market or bazaar where sundry goods, antiques, household items, or trinkets are sold, bartered, or traded. Possibly from the French marché aux puces, a name given to an outdoor market in Paris where second-hand goods were sold. I love our town's local flea market— you never know what you might find there!
See also: flea, market

flea in the ear

1. Something annoying. We need to stop that beeping smoke alarm because it's a flea in my ear today.
2. A harsh reprimand. I had to talk to Mr. Myers about the botched report today, and boy, did he give me a flea in the ear.
See also: ear, flea

he that lieth with dogs riseth with fleas

If one spends time with bad people, one will suffer in some way (often by becoming like said associates). I worry about my brother hanging out with all those troublemakers—he that lieth with dogs riseth with fleas.
See also: dog, flea, he

if you lie with dogs, you will get fleas

If one spends time with bad people, one will suffer in some way (often by becoming like said associates). I worry about my brother hanging out with all those troublemakers—if you lie with dogs, you will get fleas, you know?
See also: flea, get, if, lie, will

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

Prov. If you associate with bad people, you will acquire their faults. Granddaughter: It's not fair. I'm starting to get a bad reputation just because I'm friends with Suzy and she has a bad reputation. Grandmother: It's only natural. People think that if you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.
See also: down, flea, get, if, lie, up, will

not hurt a flea

Fig. not to harm anything or anyone, even a tiny insect. (Also with other forms of negation.) Ted would not even hurt a flea. He could not have struck Bill. Ted would never hurt a flea, and he would not hit anyone as you claim.
See also: flea, hurt, not

not hurt a fly

not injure or upset anyone or anything She said the arrest was a mistake, that her husband wouldn't hurt a fly.
Usage notes: also used in the forms can't hurt a fly, couldn't hurt a fly, and would never hurt a fly: He was so gentle he would never hurt a fly.
See also: fly, hurt, not

be as fit as a fiddle

  (British, American & Australian) also be as fit as a flea (British & Australian)
to be very healthy My Dad's nearly eighty now but he's as fit as a fiddle.
See also: fiddle, fit

send somebody away with a flea in their ear

  (British & Australian informal)
to angrily tell someone to go away A young kid came asking for money but I sent him away with a flea in his ear.
See also: away, ear, flea, send

flea in one's ear, a

An annoying hint or a stinging rebuke, as in He has a flea in his ear about their relationship, or If he doesn't bring the right equipment, I'll put a flea in his ear. This expression originated in French and has been used in English since the 1400s.
See also: flea

flea market

A market, usually held outdoors, where used goods and antiques are sold. For example, We picked up half of our furniture at flea markets. The term is a direct translation of the French marché aux puces and presumably implies that some of the used clothes and furniture might be flea-infested. [1920s]
See also: flea, market

not hurt a fly

Also, not hurt a flea. Not cause harm to anyone, be gentle and mild, as in Paul's the kindest man-he wouldn't hurt a flea, or Bert has a temper but it's all talk; he wouldn't hurt a fly. Both fly and flea are used in the sense of "a small insignificant animal." [Early 1800s]
See also: fly, hurt, not

a flea in (one's) ear

An annoying hint or a stinging rebuke.
See also: ear, flea

flea in his ear

A sharp, unwelcome rebuke. To have a flea literally inserted in your ear would be an unwanted nuisance, just as being scolded, even if deserved, would be. The British use the phrase to mean “put a bug in the ear”: to plant a suspicion. The French “put a flea in the ear” to arouse amatory feelings, hardly an aphrodisiacal image (any more than a Spanish fly would be).
See also: ear, flea
References in periodicals archive ?
If as Lorange et al (32) found, Xenopsylla cheopis has a median survival post-infection of 14 days before blocking but the host only survives for two days, fleas might be better reservoirs than their mammalian hosts.
Public health specialist Dr Paul McKeown, of the National Disease Surveillance Centre said outbreaks of fleas were not common but "human fleas are still with us".
For those looking to rid their pets of fleas and other pests in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, "area sprays" may be the best bet.
Epizootics tend to occur in five-year intervals in endemic regions where fleas transmit the disease from rodent to human.
He does not mention the human flea thesis that others have used to account for plague's epidemiology, but he does reject the common "pneumonic transmission" hypothesis as a mere device to "mend the paradigm" (42).
To understand why, you have to have a good idea of the life cycle of the flea and why only a few fleas can suddenly result in a population explosion.
Rachel Smithson, of Merial Animal Health, says adult fleas should be killed before they lay eggs and pet owners should take their animals to the vets for prevention advice and treatment.
For sophisticated scavengers with an eye for diamonds in the rough, buying and selling items at flea markets, garage sales and on the Internet can become a way of life and even a livelihood.
Twelve dogs of similar breeds and weights were dipped with a nonprescription commercial flea dip, according to the manufacturer's guidelines, for four consecutive treatments at three-week intervals, with no shampooing in between.
Fleas, Siphonaptera, can be divided in three large groups: the sedentary fleas that live in the nest of their hosts, the mobile fleas that still require a nest but can also live on the host, and the stick-tight fleas that attach themselves on the host.
When treating any pet for fleas it is important to treat your home too using a suitable product (usually a spray).
Because fleas are a major source of skin irritation, it's worth spending a few moments talking about flea control.
Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, little fleas have lesser fleas and so ad infinitum.
However a recent exposure to fleas seems to be unresponsive to treatment.
NexGard, a Merial product, kills adult fleas before they lay eggs, as well as treats and controls ticks -- all in a tasty, soft chew that dogs love.