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to send somebody away with a flea in their ear

Click below to listen to the phrase.

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) to send somebody packing

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

To send somebody with a flea in their ear’ means to tell somebody to go away, to refuse angrily what they have come to ask you. ‘To send someone packing’, or ‘to give someone the brush-off’ are very similar in meaning.

French translation

envoyer balader, envoyer promener

How NOT to translate : *renvoyer quelqu’un avec une puce dans l’oreille


Examples in context

‘PM gives political foes a dose of ’beep beep’

However, as the Opposition pointed out, what usually happens to MPs who repeatedly defy a Speaker is a boot up the behind and a flea in their ear on the way out the door. Why hadn’t he thrown the PM out ?’

stuff.co.nz, 27 March 2013


‘Of all the magic moments conjured up by David Beckham during his career, perhaps the biggest - and most important - came at Old Trafford in 2002. The referee blows his whistle to award another free kick 25 yards from goal. Teddy Sheringham steps up to take the responsibility away from Beckham, but England’s number seven sends him away with a flea in his ear. One more shot ...’

The Mirror, 16 May 2013


Everyday usage

I was literally sent back to my desk with a flea in my ear, just because the weather was gloomy.

Do I need to send you away with a flea in your ear ? Yes I think so if you keep asking me this !

b) to wish somebody a good trip

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) to reassure somebody

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

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