Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


not hurt a fly or flea

not hurt a fly
also not hurt a flea


  • To not be able to cause harm to anyone, including even a tiny and insignificant insect.
  • This phrase refers to not being able to hurt even something that can hurt that person.
  • To not physically injure or verbally offend anyone.

Example Sentences

  1. He is such an innocent little child, he could not hurt a fly.
  2. Her daughter seems like she could not hurt a flea but she is not so in reality.
  3. Although he is tough professional but when you know him personally, you would know that he would not hurt a fly.
  4. She confessed that she would not hurt a flea unless she is provoked.
  5. My kid is as sweet as honey and would not hurt a fly.
  6. His dog is amongst the biggest ones that I have ever seen. And although he is constantly chewing on the home furniture, they say he would not hurt a flea.

The origin of this phrase is not available.

Synonym and Variant
Not hurt a fly. It is believed that this was a base idiom which evolved into the word ‘Fly’ being replaced by ‘Flea’, there is no confirmation of this fact though. Both are correct to be used in the same context.

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