flea in his ear

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 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 ?
Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner explains how the gap between him and Martin O'Neill proved too big to plug .........................PAGE 55 The manager has moved on but club skipper Stiliyan Petrov's thoughts are focused on the new Premier League season ...............PAGE 55After a hectic few days for Villa owner Randy Lerner Peter Sharkey assesses the impact of overseas ownership............................PAGE 56 Bill Howell previews the season for all our Midland clubs and reveals where O'Neill's rein started to go wrong..................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 ...........PAGE 59
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.