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mettre la puce à l’oreille de quelqu’un

The French expression “mettre la puce à l’oreille de quelqu’un” translates literally to “to put the flea in somebody’s ear”.

English meaning:

  • to plant an idea in somebody’s mind
  • to get somebody thinking

French meaning:

  • faire se douter de qqch to make somebody suspect something
  • éveiller l’attention ou méfiance  to arouse attention or suspicion

Example sentence:

  • Il m’a mis la puce a l’oreille quand il a commencé à parler d’une maison. Je savais qu’il voulait se marier. He got me thinking when he started talking about a house. I knew he wanted to get married.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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