pin back your 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 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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
No matter who it is, you might want to pin back your ears and keep buttoned.
PIN back your ears because Denise Welch has something to say.
The opposition of Mercury to Pluto is vitally important where communications are concerned, so pin back your ears.
Before you reason why you shouldn't, pin back your ears, Taurus.
But if you like your music shot through with a dark streak of melancholy, pin back your ears for what could be a readymade soundtrack to Falkirk film noir.
Pin back your ears for cyberdelic trance, wacked-out wah wah guitar, Eastern exotica and lonesome folk ballads.
WHEN Paul Nicholls talks up the chances of one of his horses, it very often pays to pin back your ears and put down your cash.