Ear Idioms: Well, ears are the part of our body through which we hear everything. It is one of the crucial most organs of our body for our day-to-day functioning. Ears are what helps us to understand what the other person has to say and overhear things that others might be talking about.
Various idioms and phrases with ears refer to a specific action or emotion in a particular situation. These ear idioms and phrases are essential, and we use them every day in our lives. We must understand what they mean to efficiently be used to talk to each other.
Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.
This article provides a list of ear idioms that will help you increase your diction and also will be helpful while you are in a conversation with your peers or colleagues. We have also provided the ear idioms with their meanings and an example sentence to help you understand better how to use them.
Names of Ear Idioms
List of Ear Idioms
- A Box On the Ear
- A Flea in Your Ear
- All Eyes and Ears
- As Cute as A Bug’s Ear
- Assault The Ear
- Cloth Ears
- Coming Out of One’s Ears
- Dry Behind the Ears
- Ear Hustler
- Give Someone an Earful
- I’m All Ears
- Like Trying to Scratch One’s Ear with One’s Elbow
- Music to one’s ears
- One’s Ears Are Burning
- Play It by Ear
- The Walls Have Ears
- To Be Easy On the Ear
- To Be in Earshot
- To Be Out On Your Ear
- To Be Up to One’s Ear in Debt
- To Believe One’s Ears
- To Come to One’s Ears or to Reach One’s Ears
- To Fall On Deaf Ears
- To Get One’s Ears Lowered
- To Get One’s Ears Pinned Back
- To Give an Ear to Someone
- To Give Someone a Thick Ear
- To Have a Word in One’s Ear
- To Have an Ear for Something
- To Have Big Ears
- To Have One’s Ear to The Ground
- To Have Someone or Something by The Ears
- To Have Steam Coming Out of One’s Ears
- To Have the Right Sow by The Ear
- To Lend an Ear to Someone
- To Listen with Half an Ear
- To Play It by Ear
- To Put a Bug in One’s Ears
- To Ring in One’s Ears
- To Smile from Ear to Ear
- To Whisper Sweet Nothings in One’s Ears
- Wet Behind the Ears
Meanings and Examples of commonly used Ear Idioms
A Box On the Ear
Meaning: A physical blow to the ear, usually as punishment or reprimand for some misbehavior.
Example: As soon as I stepped inside the house, mom gave me a box on the ear for late.
A Flea in Your Ear
Meaning: A harsh, strident, or unsettling reproof or rebuke.
Example: Dad gave me a flea in the ear over my spending habits.
All Eyes and Ears
Meaning: Giving one’s undivided attention to something.
Example: The children were all eyes and ears to the retired navy officer’s stories.
As Cute as A Bug’s Ear
Meaning: Used to describe something or someone adorable or cute.
Example: Jimmy’s dog is as cute as a bug’s ear.
Assault The Ear
Meaning: To be incredibly loud and unbearable to listen to.
Example: You are not audible with all that traffic noise assaulting my ear.
Meaning: A witty nickname for someone who hasn’t heard what has been stated.
Example: Hey, cloth year, let’s go. The principal wants to see us right now.
Coming Out of One’s Ears
Meaning: Occurring or being present in large quantities or abundance.
Example: Because the end of the semester is approaching, I’m having desperate students looking for extra credit coming out of my ears.
Dry Behind the Ears
Meaning: Mature; well-versed in a particular scenario or function.
Example: That is not an intelligent idea for these young lads; they are not yet dry behind the ears.
Meaning: Someone who is prone to eavesdropping or gossiping.
Example: Julie is an ear hustler. If you tell her something, everyone will know about it by the end of the day.
Give Someone an Earful
Meaning: To scold or lecture someone for an extended period.
Example: The professor gave us an earful for being late to the class.
I’m All Ears
Meaning: Paying full attention to what someone has to say.
Example: You know you can tell me what went wrong. I’m all ears.
Like Trying to Scratch One’s Ear with One’s Elbow
Meaning: something complicated, if not impossible, to accomplish.
Example: Getting the team together for practice is like trying to scratch my ear with my elbow.
Music to one’s ears
Meaning: Something nice to listen to.
Example: The news that his juniors team got selected for the nationals was music to John’s ears.
One’s Ears Are Burning
Meaning: Despite not witnessing it, one gets the impression that people were talking about them.
Example: Were your ears burning? Jim was humoring us with the tales of your adventures.
Play It by Ear
Meaning: Based on the conditions, decide how to act in or cope with a specific scenario in an adaptive, flexible, or improvised manner.
Example: Jim was not sure if he would be able to go to college tomorrow. So he decided to play it by ear and complete half the assignment tonight.
The Walls Have Ears
Meaning: Someone could be listening in.
Example: How about we talk about this back at my office. You know, the walls have ears.
To Be Easy On the Ear
Meaning: Something that has a pleasing and enjoyable sound.
Example: His guitar covers are very easy on the ear.
To Be in Earshot
Meaning: to get close enough to hear what someone is saying
Example: Jim was in earshot of the coach and captain’s conversation and heard them discussing which player to drop from the next match.
To Be Out On Your Ear
Meaning: Removed from a location or circumstance, notably from one’s place of employment, sometimes in an abrupt manner.
Example: After ten years of faithful work to that company, I’m out on my ear simply because the new management dislikes me.
To Be Up to One’s Ear in Debt
Meaning: To owe a large sum of money
Example: After shifting to a new place and renting a new furnished flat, Jim is up to his ear in debt.
To Believe One’s Ears
Meaning: To believe or have faith in anything one has heard.
Example: Well, believe your ears because I did get accepted in Stanford.
To Come to One’s Ears or to Reach One’s Ears
Meaning: To eventually hear about something that other people have already learned about.
Example: When the news of Robert’s suspension from college came to his parent’s ears, they were furious.
To Fall On Deaf Ears
Meaning: to go unnoticed by those who should be listening
Example: Her pleadings for mercy fell on deaf ears, and the judge sentenced her to the maximum term.
To Get One’s Ears Lowered
Meaning: To get a haircut.
Example: This hot weather makes me want to get my ears lowered.
To Get One’s Ears Pinned Back
Meaning: To be severely scolded.
Example: Jimmy was summoned to the principal’s office and had his ears pinned back.
To Give an Ear to Someone
Meaning: to pay attention to someone, especially while they are explaining a problem
Example: Thank you for giving an eat; I feel a lot better now that I can share it with you.
To Give Someone a Thick Ear
Meaning: To strike someone, usually a child, to discipline them.
Example: John was given a thick ear by his mom when she found out that he was the one who broke the antique vase.
To Have a Word in One’s Ear
Meaning: To speak privately with someone, usually to make a suggestion or deliver a warning.
Example: I’m pretty sure it’ll be better if I can have a word in your ear later today at the office.
To Have an Ear for Something
Meaning: to excel at listening to and then repeating or comprehending music, poetry, or foreign languages
Example: Sara has an ear for jazz music, though she is not trained.
To Have Big Ears
Meaning: Listening in on a conversation in which one is not a participant
Example: I am not sure if I am comfortable speaking about it right now. Some people have big ears in the office.
To Have One’s Ear to The Ground
Meaning: Listening for any hint of what is or will occur.
Example: I know Kim is keeping an ear to the ground if word of the promotion spreads.
To Have Someone or Something by The Ears
Meaning: to have command over that person or thing
Example: Vik always has Harry by the ear when he is talking to the seniors.
To Have Steam Coming Out of One’s Ears
Meaning: to be genuinely distressed about something
Example: John was displeased. He dashed out of the house, steam coming out of his ears. I believe he needs some time to calm down.
To Have the Right Sow by The Ear
Meaning: To understand a situation correctly.
Example: We shouldn’t talk before we have the right sow by the ear.
To Lend an Ear to Someone
Meaning: to be attentive to someone, especially while they are talking about a problem
Example: He is going through a difficult time. We should lend him an ear.
To Listen with Half an Ear
Meaning: Listening to someone or something infrequently or with only partial attention.
Example: Unfortunately, I don’t recall what Mom said because I was only paying attention with half an ear when the game was on TV.
To Put a Bug in One’s Ears
Meaning: To converse with someone to convey specific information, a suggestion, a hint, or a warning.
Example: They weren’t paying attention, so I requested my manager to put a bug in their ears about the importance of making this deadline.
To Ring in One’s Ears
Meaning: To be vividly present in one’s thoughts or memory, as if one can hear it again.
Example: I’m not sure, but this music is ringing in my ears.
To Smile from Ear to Ear
Meaning: To have a big, happy smile on your face.
Example: Seeing his new car, he was smiling ear to ear.
To Whisper Sweet Nothings in One’s Ears
Meaning: To flirtatiously mutter words of affection to someone.
Example: Rob would always whisper sweet nothings in my ears to impress me.
Wet Behind the Ears
Meaning: Inexperienced, often due to youth.
Example: John is far too young for a job like this! He’s still wet behind the ears!