pin back your 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pin back your earsBRITISH, 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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012