flea


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Related to flea: cat flea, flea bites

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

be as fit as a fiddle

To be in good health. Yes, I did have surgery a few months ago, but I'm as fit as a fiddle now. I just saw Eric recently, and he's as fit as a fiddle.
See also: fiddle, fit

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 ?
Flea & Tick Control Tips To help protect your pet, take aim at fleas and ticks in and around your home.
With regular treatment, 12 months of the year, it should be possible to rapidly kill any fleas that the animal picks up rapidly and efficiently before they have an opportunity to breed.
This is nice because it affects the flea at all stages of life.
s Flea Vac for 2 years through a collection of dynamic promotional materials such as press releases, product brochures, digital renditions, a password-protected website, and other visual mediums such as a New Product DVD and potentially, an interactive virtual reality presentation.
What does the Grafton Flea Market get on a good day now?
Bacterial DNA was extracted from 277 fleas of 5 species: 233 P.
These were insects much larger than modern fleas and from the size of their proboscis we can tell they would have been mean," said George Poinar, Jr.
Or they sprint back and forth trying in vain to get to the fleas before the next wave covers them.
Not surprisingly, most vets recommend treating dogs year-round for comprehensive flea and tick control.
Flea knees never even touched the ground in about 10 percent of jumps, Sutton says.
Dear EarthTalk: I'm told that, despite improvements in recent years, pesticides in flea collars are still harmful to pets and humans.
A Fleas are the commonest cause of fur loss in cats and it is important to use an effective flea treatment.
Combing and brushing your dog or cat distributes oils throughout their coat, reduces shedding, prevents matting, and helps in identifying a flea problem (more about that in a moment).
It is never too early to start your holiday shopping, and what better event to usher in fall and kick off the shopping season than the historic Canton Flea Market?