wouldn't hurt a fly

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

wouldn't hurt a fly

  1. (idiomatic) To be of very gentle nature.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XI
      Talking of being eaten by dogs, there's a dachshund at Brinkley who when you first meet him will give you the impression that he plans to convert you into a light snack between his regular meals. Pay no attention. It's all eyewash. [...] He wouldn't hurt a fly, but he has to put up a front because his name's Poppet. One can readily appreciate that when a dog hears himself addressed day in and day out as Poppet, he feels he must throw his weight about. His self-respect demands it.

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