GC: n

S: WHO – http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resources/vector237to261.pdf (last access: 28 February 2016); https://www.hastings.gov.uk/environment_planning/animals_pests/pest/fleas/ (last access: 28 February 2016).

N: 1. Old English flea “flea,” from Proto-Germanic *flauhaz (cognates: Old Norse flo, Middle Dutch vlo, German Floh), perhaps related to Old English fleon “to flee,” with a notion of “the jumping parasite,” but more likely from PIE *plou- “flea” (cognates: Latin pulex, Greek psylla; see puce).
Chaucer’s plural is fleen. Flea-bag “bed” is from 1839; flea-circus is from 1886; flea-collar is from 1953. Flea-pit (1937) is an old colloquial name for a movie-house, or, as Oxford English Dictionary puts it, “an allegedly verminous place of public assembly.”
“A man named ‘Mueller’ put on the first trained-flea circus in America at the old Stone and Austin museum in Boston nearly forty years ago. Another German named ‘Auvershleg’ had the first traveling flea circus in this country thirty years ago. In addition to fairs and museums, I get as high as $25 for a private exhibition.” (“Professor” William Heckler, quoted in “Popular Mechanics,” February 1928. Printed at the top of his programs were “Every action is visible to the naked eye” and “No danger of desertion.”)
2. Flea (order Siphonaptera), any of a group of bloodsucking insects that are important carriers of disease and can be serious pests. Fleas are parasites that live on the exterior of the host (i.e., are ectoparasitic). As the chief agent transmitting the Black Death (bubonic plague) in the Middle Ages, they were an essential link in the chain of events that resulted in the death of a quarter of the population of Europe.
3. Differences between fleas and lice:

  • Fleas are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live and feed on blood from humans, dog, cats, and other animals.
  • Head lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that live and feed on blood from your scalp. There are other types of lice, including body lice, which affects the body and pubic lice, which affects the pubic area.

4. Cultural Interrelation: In the film The Vagabond (1916) by Charles Chaplin and Edward Brewer, Charlie searches through Edna’s hair and finds a flea.
The flea circus has lots of appearances in films.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=flea (last access: 28 February 2016). 2. EncBrit – (last access: 28 February 2016). 3. http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-fleas-and-lice (last access: 28 February 2016). 4. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/chaplins-first-masterpiece-vagabond (last access: 29 February 2016); http://www.fleacircus.co.uk/Films.htm (last access: 29 February 2016); FCB.


CR: louse, plague, typhus, yersiniosis.