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Re: Earwig

Posted by ESC on August 22, 2003

In Reply to: Let me "put a bug in your ear" posted by Deanie P. Terminie-Ros on August 20, 2003

: My boss is a trivia lover and it would really make his day (and impress him of course) if you could tell me where the phrase "put a bug in your ear" derives from.

PUT A BUG IN YOUR EAR - "put a bug (or flea) in (someone's) ear, put a bug (or bee) in (someone's) bonnet, to suggest, hint, reveal, around 1900. This seems to be a later version of to 'earwig.'" ".earwig, to pester insinuate, to influence with words, from the earwig insect (first recorded in English in 1000) which was thought to enter the head through the ear." From "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).