pin someone's ears back(redirected from pin back one's ears)
pin back (one's) ears
1. To harshly reprimand one. Also seen as "pin (one's) ears back." The principal pinned back Jeff's ears for what he did in the cafeteria. My parents are going to pin my ears back if I'm not home by curfew.
2. To definitively defeat. Also seen as "pin (one's) ears back." I knew the other team was better, but I didn't think they would pin back our ears so dominantly. Dude, Kristina is a star tennis player—she's going to pin your ears back out there.
3. To beat or strike someone, especially targeting the head. Also seen as "pin (one's) ears back." Talk to me like that again and I'll pin back your ears, boy! Don't cross Rufus or he'll pin your ears back. I've seen him do it.
4. To listen carefully. Typically used as an imperative. Also seen as "pin (one's) ears back." Primarily heard in UK. Pin back your ears while the teacher is talking so you don't miss the assignment. My boss told me to pin my ears back during the meeting, but I was already listening closely.
pin someone's ears back
Defeat, overcome, punish, as in The Red Sox had their ears pinned back by the Yankees, or You'll get your ears pinned back if you're late. [c. 1940]
pin someone's ears backAMERICAN
If you pin someone's ears back, you tell them off for having done something wrong. I've had some grandparents pin their 40-year-old son's ears back.