a flea in (one's) ear


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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

a flea in your ear

a sharp reproof.
Formerly a flea in your ear also meant something that agitates or alarms you, as does the French phrase avoir la puce à l'oreille . Nowadays, it is often found in the phrases give someone a flea in the ear or send someone away with a flea in their ear .
See also: ear, flea

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