Flea to Flins
Flea When the Princess Badoura was placed on Prince Camaralzaman's bed, in order to compare their claims to beauty, the fairy Maimounë changed herself into a flea, and bit the prince on the neck in order to awake him. Next, the genius Danhasch changed himself into a flea and bit the princess on the lip, that she might open her eyes and see the prince. (Arabian Nights; Camaralzaman and Badoura.)
Flea as a parasite.
"Hobbes clearly proves that every creatureSent off with a flea in his ear. Peremptorily. A dog which has a flea in the ear is very restless, and runs off in terror and distress. In French: Mettre à quelqu'un puce à l'oreille. Probably our change of word implies a pun.
Flea-bite It is a mere flea-bite. A thing of no moment. Thus, a merchant who has suffered loss by speculation or failure might say that the loss is a mere flea-bite to him. A soldier might call a wound a mere flea-bite. A passing inconvenience which annoys but leaves no permanent injury. Mr. Disraeli spoke of the national debt as a mere flea-bite.
Flea's Jump Aristophanes, in the Clouds, says that Socrates and Chærephon tried to measure how many times its own length a flea jumped. They took in wax the size of a flea's foot; then, on the principle of ex pede Herculem, calculated the length of its body. Having found this, and measured the distance of the flea's jump from the hand of Socrates to Chærephon, the knotty problem was resolved by simple multiplication.
Fleance (2 syl.). Son of Banquo. (Shakespeare: Macbeth.)
Fleche Faire flèche de tout bois. To turn every event into a cause of censure. To make whatever wood falls in your path an arrow to discharge at your adversary.
Flecknoe (Richard). An Irish priest, who printed a host of poems, letters, and travels. As a poet, his
name, like the names of Mævius and Bavius among the Romans, is proverbial for vileness. Dryden says
"Reigned without disputeFledgeby (2 syl.). An over-reaching, cowardly sneak, who conceals his dirty bill-broking under the trade name of Pubsey & Co. He is soundly thrashed by Alfred Lammle, and quietly pockets the affront. (Dickens: Mutual Friend.)
Flee the Falcon (To). To let fly the small cannon.
" `I'll flee the falcon' (so the small cannon was called) `I'll flee the falcon ... my certie, she'll ruffle their feathers for them' " [i.e. the insurgents]. - Sir W. Scott: Old Mortality, chap. xxv.Fleeced (1 syl.). Cheated of one's money; sheared like a sheep.
Fleet Book Evidence No evidence at all. The books of the Old Fleet prison are not admissible as evidence to prove a marriage. (Wharton: Law Dictionary.)
Fleet Marriages Clandestine marriages, at one time performed without banns or licence by needy chaplains, in Fleet Prison, London. As many as thirty marriages a day were sometimes celebrated in this disgraceful manner; and Malcolm tells us that 2,954 were registered in the four months ending with February 12th, 1705. Suppressed by the Marriage Act in 1754. (See Chaplain of the Fleet, by Besant and Rice.)
Fleet Street (London). For 200 years after the Conquest London was watered on the west by "the river of Wells," afterwards called "Fleet dyke, because (Stowe says) it runneth past the Fleete." In the middle of the city and falling into the Thames was Wellbrooke; on the east side, Langbourne; and in the western suburbs, Oldbourne. Along the Fleete and Oldbourne "ships" used to ply with merchandise. These four,
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