put a bug in (one's) ear

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put a bug in (one's) ear

To speak to one in order to impart some particular information, suggestion, hint, or warning. I've been putting a bug in his ear for months about what I wanted for my birthday, but he was totally clueless when the day came. They weren't listening to me, so I asked my boss to put a word in their ear about the importance of meeting this deadline.
See also: bug, ear, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put a bug in someone's ear

Give someone a hint about something, as in Janet put a bug in her husband's ear about getting the children a dog for Christmas. This idiom presumably likens the buzzing about of an insect to a hint, although the exact analogy is not clear. [c. 1900]
See also: bug, ear, put
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

put a bug in (someone's) ear

Informal
To impart useful information to (another) in a subtle, discreet way.
See also: bug, ear, put
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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