What is the origin and meaning of the idiomatic expression on his ear? I have found a modern definition but am searching for the origin of this idiom.

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    Google idiom "on his ear" – Hot Licks Oct 30 '16 at 20:33
  • I see Partridge says out on your arse is a relatively recent UK version. But I can't help wondering if that might not have been the original intent of the apparently older "euphemistic" version. – FumbleFingers Oct 30 '16 at 20:45
  • @FumbleFingers - that may depend on how they throw you out or kick you out. – user66974 Oct 30 '16 at 20:49
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    Would you kindly provide some examples of this phrase so we know which sense you’re looking for? Sir Walter Scott wrote: “But firmly as he thought his resolution was fixed, he could not leave the spot where the last tones of a voice so beloved still vibrated on his ear, without endeavouring to avail himself of the opportunity which the parlour window afforded to steal one last glance at the lovely speaker.” – tchrist Oct 30 '16 at 20:56
  • @FumbleFingers I’m a wee tad gobsmacked to learn that you are smack on the nose — or is that bumsmacked? — that the arse version you allude to is to all appearances a pan-flashing parvenu but recently come on to the literary scene. – tchrist Oct 30 '16 at 21:05

The idiomatic expression is "out on one's ear" and its origin appears to derive from the notion of being thrown out with the head first:

  • Dismissed, thrown out in disgrace, as in In this company you get only one chance, and if you fail you're out on your ear.

    • This term alludes to being physically thrown out head first. [; early 1900s ]

The American Heritage Idioms Dictionary

  • Could this link in any way to being pulled by your ear? – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 30 '16 at 21:00
  • @BladorthinTheGrey - maybe, but I can't find any evidence about this. – user66974 Oct 30 '16 at 21:05
  • Well it was just a vague thought. – BladorthinTheGrey Oct 30 '16 at 21:11

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