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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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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]
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]
a flea in (one's) ear
An annoying hint or a stinging rebuke.
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).