Eavesdropper • Overhear • Overheard
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
EavesdropperEavesdropping in the form of people overhearing a conversation is both a fact of life and an archetypal motif in literature. Whereas the dominant image is the negative one of a meddling eavesdropper, the Bible at least partly redeems the image.The negative image is present, to be sure.
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Eaves-dropper. One who listens stealthily to conversation. The derivation of the term is not usually understood. The owners of private estates in Saxon times were not allowed to cultivate to the extremity of their possessions, but were obliged to leave a space for eaves. This space was called the yfes-drype