E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ear. (Anglo-Saxon, eáre.)
A deaf ear. One that refuses to listen; as if it heard not.
Bow down Thine ear. Condescend to hear or listen. (Ps. xxxi. 2.).
By ear. To sing or play by ear means to sing or play without knowledge of musical notes, depending on the ear only.
Give ear to Listen to; give attention to.
I am all ear. All attention.
I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a soul
Under the ribs of death.
Míltôn: Comus, 574.
Ill send you off wïth a fleà in your ear. With a cuff or box of the ear. The allusion is to domestic animals, who are sometimes greatly annoyed with these tiny torments. There seems also to be a pun impliedflea and flee.
The French equivalent is Mettre la puce à loreille, to give one a good jobation.
In at one ear, and out at the other. Forgotten as soon as heard.
No ear. A bad ear for musical intonations; ear-blind or sound-blind.
Dionysiuss Ear. A bell-shaped chamber connected by an underground passage with the kings palace. Its object was that the tyrant of Syracuse might overhear whatever was passing in the prison.