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Hi

I believe that I have seen both idioms at some point in time in my life. I want to know how common they are in everyday English.

Put a bug in someone's ear (AmE) = give a hint or suggestion

Put a flea in someone's ear (BrE) = scold severely

Thanks,

Tom

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In British English we give someone a flea in their ear or send them away with a flea in their ear.

To me, a bug in my ear would be a hidden electronic listening device.

Comments  
Mr. TomPut a bug in someone's ear (AmE) = give a hint or suggestion

Not common, but generally understood, I'd say. It means to give someone a nagging idea in the hope that they will be moved to act on it.

Mr. TomPut a flea in someone's ear (BrE) = scold severely

I think you have this wrong, but I'll let a Brit answer.

 Rover_KE's reply was promoted to an answer.