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The meaning and origin of the expression: Little pitchers have big ears

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Little pitchers have big ears

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Little pitchers have big ears'?

This proverbial saying means 'be careful, children are listening'.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Little pitchers have big ears'?

Little pitchers have big earsThe proverbial saying 'Little pitchers have big ears' is first found in John Heywood's 1546 glossary A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the englishe tongue:

Auoyd your children. smal pitchers haue wide eares.

The 'ears' refers to both the ears of the children who might be eavesdropping and also to the handles of the pitchers which, in mediaeval England, were called ears.

See also: the List of Proverbs.

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