fields have eyes, and woods have ears

The urban equivalent is walls have ears.

c 1225 in Englische Studien (1902) XXXI. 8 Veld haued hege [eye], and wude haued heare—Campus habet lumen et habet nemus auris acumen.

c 1386 CHAUCER Knight’s Tale 1.1522 But sooth is seyd, go sithen many yeres, That ‘feeld hath eyen and the wode hath eres’.

1640 J. HOWELL Dodona’s Grove A4v Hedges have eares, the rurall Proverb sayes.

1738 SWIFT Polite Conversation iii. 199 ‘O, Miss; ’tis nothing what we say among ourselves.’.. ‘Ay Madam; but they say Hedges have Eyes, and Walls have Ears.’

1905 S. J. WEYMAN Starvecrow Farm xxviii. Heedful of the old saying, that fields have eyes and woods have ears, she looked carefully round her before she laid her hand on the gate.


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  • ear — see fields have eyes, and woods have ears little pitchers have large ears you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear walls have ears …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • eye — see what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over the eye of a master does more work than both his hands beauty is in the eye of the beholder the buyer has need of a hundred eyes, the seller of but one fields have eyes, and woods have… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Feld — 1. Auf einem kleinen Felde wächst auch gut (oder: oft das beste) Korn. Frz.: En petit champ croist bon bled. (Leroux, I, 39.) Holl.: Op een klein veld wast goed koren. (Harrebomée, II, 367.) 2. Auf gepflügtem Felde ist gut säen. Dän.: Godt at… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • Wand — 1. Alles, was die Wand bepisst, soll sterben, wenn s ein Schurke ist. 2. An den Wänden deines Hauses erkennt man, dass du ein Köhler bist. 3. An eine schwache (schwankende) Wand muss man sich nicht lehnen. Dän.: Ondt er at støtte sig til ludende… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • field — see fields have eyes, and woods have ears …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • wood — see fields have eyes, and woods have ears don’t halloo till you are out of the wood hunger drives the wolf out of the wood …   Proverbs new dictionary


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