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.


Nearby words

  1. fld.,
  2. fldxt,
  3. flea,
  4. flea beetle,
  5. flea collar,
  6. flea market,
  7. flea-bitten,
  8. flea-flicker,
  9. fleabag,
  10. fleabane

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.