little pitchers have big ears

Idioms & Phrases

little pitchers have big ears

Young children often overhear something they should not. For example, Don't use any swear words around Brianlittle pitchers have big ears. This metaphoric expression, which likens the curved handle of a pitcher to the human ear, was already in John Heywood's proverb collection of 1546.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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