have (someone or something) by the ears(redirected from have them by the ears)
have (someone or something) by the ears
To have someone or something fully under control or domination. The flu had me by the ears last week, but I'm finally feeling better now.
have something by the earskeep or obtain a secure hold on.
1949 Dylan Thomas Letter I am tangled in hack-work. Depression has me by the ears.