little pitchers have big ears

little pitchers have big ears

Children hear everything, especially when you least expect them to. The "ear" of a water pitcher is the handle. Please watch what you say around the kids—little pitchers have big ears, you know. A: "Where did little Susie learn that inappropriate word?" B: "Who knows. Little pitchers have big ears."
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Little pitchers have big ears.

Prov. Children like to listen to adult conversations and can understand a lot of what they hear. (Used to warn another adult not to talk about something because there is a child present.) I started to tell Mary about the date I had on Saturday, but she interrupted me, saying, "Little pitchers have big ears," and looked pointedly at her six-year-old daughter, who was in the room with us.
See also: big, ear, have, little, pitcher

little pitchers have big ears

Young children often overhear something they should not. For example, Don't use any swear words around Brian-little pitchers have big ears. This metaphoric expression, which likens the curved handle of a pitcher to the human ear, was already in John Heywood's proverb collection of 1546.
See also: big, ear, have, little, pitcher

little pitchers have big ears

Small children may overhear what they should not. This metaphor, which likens the human ear to the pitcher’s handle, was already stated in one of John Heywood’s proverbs (1546): “Avoyd your children, small pitchers have wide eares.” It was repeated several times by Shakespeare and was surely a cliché by the time Dickens referred to it in Bleak House (1853): “Charley verified the adage about little pitchers, I am sure.”
See also: big, ear, have, little, pitcher