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Knee-high to a grasshopper

adjective phrase

(Variations: bumblebee or duck or frog or mosquito or spit or splinter or toad may replace grasshopper) Very short or small, esp because young: He’s been smoking since he was knee-high to a grasshopper

[1851+; knee high to a toad is found by 1814]
Quite young, as in I haven’t seen him since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. This hyperbolic expression, dating from about 1850 and alluding to someone’s youth, replaced the earlier knee-high to a mosquito or bumblebee or splinter.


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