A flea in the ear
Flea Flea, n. [OE. fle, flee, AS. fle['a], fle['a]h; akin to D. vtoo, OHG. fl[=o]h, G. floh, Icel. fl[=o], Russ. blocha; prob. from the root of E. flee. [root]84. See {Flee}.] (Zo["o]l.) An insect belonging to the genus {Pulex}, of the order {Aphaniptera}. Fleas are destitute of wings, but have the power of leaping energetically. The bite is poisonous to most persons. The human flea ({Pulex irritans}), abundant in Europe, is rare in America, where the dog flea ({Ctenocephalides canis}, formerly {Pulex canis}) and the smaller cat flea ({Ctenocephalides felis}) take its place. See {Aphaniptera}, and {Dog flea}. See Illustration in Appendix. [1913 Webster]

{A flea in the ear}, an unwelcome hint or unexpected reply, annoying like a flea; an irritating repulse; as, to put a flea in one's ear; to go away with a flea in one's ear.

{Beach flea}, {Black flea}, etc. See under {Beach}, etc. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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