little pitchers have big ears

what does this mean and from whence did it come?

I’ve always heard it to mean that kids might be understanding more of a conversation than you might think, similar to “the walls have ears,” but I have no idea where it comes, sure would like to knoow though,

Little pictures have big ears.

Little pishers have big ears… refers to children.

First time I ever heard this saying is in John Prine’s song ‘Sam Stone’ from his excelent first album.

Excellent song yeah, but talk about a heart breaker. OK, dex, what is a “pisher,” your post doen’t clear anything up for me,

Yeah, that’s what reminded me. Finally got the CD. Had the record years ago. He’s made many great ones since then, BTW.

Anyway, now I’m more confused than ever. I’ve thought it was “pitchers.” Is it that or “pictures” or “pishers”(whatever the hell that is)??? Yeah, I’d heard it used in reference to kids hearing what we don’t want them to hear…

Pisher is Hebrew or Yiddish, I think.

It’s pitchers. The handle of a pitcher is called an ear because it looks like one. It’s a polite way of reminding an adult to watch his/her language in front of the kiddies. It comes from a time when spoken (and written) visual imagery was more important. For an example of usage, watch “A Christmas Story.”

Pisher” is Yiddish for one who pishes – urinates, pees, whatever you want to call it. It’s a joke, a play on words. And sorry, I thought pisher was one of those yiddish words that has come into general English usage.

CKDext: that’s one I’ve heard for years in redneck bars, but only when the speaker is drunk…“Buddy, doan pish me awff, now…”

I always heard it was little statues.

My Brewer’s supports aseymayo’s comment: “little pitchers have long ears” meaning the handles which look ear-shaped, similar in meaning to “the walls have ears.”