pin back (one's) ears

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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 one. 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 one, 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.
See also: back, ear, pin
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pin someone's ears back

 
1. Fig. to beat someone, especially about the head. Don't talk to me like that or I will pin your ears back! Max wanted to pin back Lefty's ears for making fun of him.
2. Fig. to give someone a good scolding. Did you hear him? He really pinned Chuck's ears back. He pinned back Chuck's ears.
See also: back, ear, pin
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
See also: back, ear, pin
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pin back your ears

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
1. If you pin back your ears, you listen carefully to what someone is saying. Right, children, pin back your ears because this is important.
2. In sport, if someone pins back their ears, they run very quickly in an attempt to score and help their team win. The Newport back division dropped the ball 30 metres out and Hughes pinned back his ears and raced to the line.
See also: back, ear, pin

pin someone's ears back

AMERICAN
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.
See also: back, ear, pin
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

pin your ears back

listen carefully.
See also: back, ear, pin
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

pin someone’s ears back

1. tv. to scold someone severely. The teacher pinned the kids’ ears back for chewing gum.
2. tv. to beat someone, especially about the head. You do something like that again, and I’ll pin your ears back.
See also: back, ear, pin
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
But Sam has had four operations on the NHS, although he insists only a nose op and surgery to pin back his ears were inspired by vanity.
Tom Prydie 6, Harry Robinson 7: Prydie was released in the first half, but didn't quite have the gas to pin back his ears, while ex-Blue Robinson, who has settled well, scuttled over for his ninth try of the season.
Ashley Watson's story captured Teesside's collective heart after he had surgery to pin back his ears in April, |above.
His plea for free Botox for life and surgery to pin back his ears would be laughable were this not a serious matter.
The flying wing struck after Hewitt knocked the ball out of the grasp of home skipper Colin Gregor to give his predatory team-mate the chance to pin back his ears and bag his 23rdMagners League try in 42 outings.
THE Prince of Wales should pin back his ears and Jordan should have her breast size reduced, according to a survey.
However, he added that Paul - who had surgery to pin back his ears at 17 - has struggled to have a long-term relationship, although when he worked for Ford in Cologne "he got off with about 30 or 40 girls in the eight months he was there".