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I see and hear this over and over again, and I have not the slightest idea where it comes from.

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1 Answer 1

According to 'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable', from Ecclesiastes x. 20:

Curse not the King, no not in thy thought; . . . for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

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+1: I don't know if the explanation is totally correct, but it certainly makes a lot of sense, and I'm inclined to believe it. –  narx Oct 8 '11 at 22:41

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