bend someone's ear, to(redirected from to bend someone's ear)
bend someone's ear
Talk about a matter at tedious length; monopolize someone's attention. For example, Aunt Mary is always bending his ear about her financial problems. This term may have come from the much older to bend one's ear to someone, meaning "to listen to someone," although the current phrase implies a less than willing audience. [Colloquial; c. 1940]
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.
bend someone's earINFORMAL
If someone bends your ear, they keep talking to you about something, often about a problem they have or something they want you to do. I had Jo bending my ear for over an hour with all her problems. He was fed up with people bending his ear about staying on at school.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
bend someone's eartalk to someone, especially with great eagerness or in order to ask a favour. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
bend someone's ear, to
To subject someone to a barrage of words. This somewhat slangy twentieth-century cliché comes from an older one, to bend one’s ear to someone, meaning to listen or pay attention to someone. This usage dates from the late sixteenth century and frequently appears in poetry (for example, John Milton, “Thine ears with favor bend,” 1648). Sometimes incline serves for bend, as in the Book of Common Prayer and in a well-known Protestant prayer response (“Hear our prayer, O Lord, incline thine ear to us,” by George Whelpton, 1897).
See also: bend
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer