Two little pictures

A couple of days ago on a blog somewhere I saw someone use the expression “little pictures have big ears,” and I was thinking that must be a very, very common mistake, because it’s not at all obvious that the handles of a pitcher would be called “ears.” (Not that it’s at all obvious that pictures have ears, either, but still, most of us don’t always question the origins of our figures of speech.) This gave me the idea to do a Google image search for “pitchers ears,” which led me to these two delightful pages from an old children’s book.

(Looking again, I just noticed that these pitchers have both handles AND ears.)

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11 Responses to Two little pictures

  1. Kristina says:

    What a weird thing to say! I haven’t heard either expression before.

  2. zstitches says:

    Kristina, it’s used when adults are talking about a child-inappropriate topic and suddenly realize that there are children present — they’ll say “Little pitchers have big ears” as code for “Oops, I just realized that maybe we shouldn’t be talking about how the neighbors are always standing naked in front of their open windows when there are little kids present.” If you ever have kids, you could find it to be a quite useful expression.

  3. zstitches says:

    P.S. My mom used this expression a lot. 🙂 (Yet somehow we still found out about a lot of stuff.)

  4. Danielle says:

    But is this saying that big ears are okay, as long as they don’t have big mouths? Like, don’t gossip?

    I R DUMB.

  5. zstitches says:

    Well, I would have thought that it was a “Children should be seen but not heard” kind of thing, but since it’s called “The Greedy Little Pitchers” I think it’s saying they shouldn’t eat too much.

  6. Danielle says:

    HAHAHA! I was way off. But I think I like my explanation better. Sorry!!! 😉

  7. the MomB says:

    Those are terrific pictures. It’s hilarious that the pitchers have those little ears on them. Of course I had to do a search myself, and came across something y’all had probably already heard of, cupcake wrappers, which are available in many designs from a good many sources, but mostly made by one company called Paper Orchid Stationary. They’re too expensive, but I’m thinking I might go ahead and buy one package anyway just for fun (and to have a size template–you could cut them out of any cute paper). ‘Cause y’all know how I’m always whippin’ out them cupcakes and other domestic delights.

  8. the MomB says:

    Oh my GOO’NESS, the shipping on those is horrendous. Forget it. I wonder if any local suppliers carry them. Sorry to be off topic!

  9. I’ve always used this expression w my husband when our conversation is getting a little too intimate or detailed or whatever and he always thought I was crazy. I think I learned it from the _Little House_ books.

  10. OhSusanna says:

    This is one that I often mangle to “Little teapots”, and I always get funny looks. But I think teapots are just as likely to have ears as pitchers.

  11. zstitches says:

    There’s something kind of brilliant about that. “I’m a little teapot, short and stout, here is my big ear, here is my spout.”

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