Small children often overhear more of what is said than adults realize or desire.1844, Charlotte M. Yonge, Abbeychurch, ch. 2:Seeing me listening to something she was saying to Mamma, she turned round upon me with that odious proverb, "Little pitchers have long ears."1939, "Bedtime Bedlam," Time, 17 Apr.:A caution to U. S. parents, but a joy to radio merchandising, is the dread truth that little pitchers have big ears.2002, Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, ISBN 9780743455961, p. 185:I suppose he might say pushed or went woowoo, but took a shit is, I fear, very much in the ballpark (little pitchers have big ears, after all).
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"little pitchers have big ears." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Apr. 2018. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/little-pitchers-have-big-ears_8662>.