flea in his ear

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 classic literature ?
The doctor's watch were all back at their loopholes, the rest were busy loading the spare muskets, and everyone with a red face, you may be certain, and a flea in his ear, as the saying is.
He shook himself like a dog with a flea in his ear, and rambled out of the gate.
PAGE 58 Villa director General C Krulak is not one to mince his words and he sent O'Neill packing with a flea in his ear .
Poor Nikk left with a flea in his ear from the judges.
No self-respecting green keeper would allow the cuttings to remain on the turf and if he did, he would soon have a flea in his ear from the club members.
DOG lover Mark Adams was sent to jail with a flea in his ear yesterday o- after getting
But when her errant lover ends up on her doorstep, Mickey tries to send him off with a flea in his ear.