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To Talk Someone’s Ear Off Origin and Meaning

Idiom
To Talk Someone’s Ear Off
Meaning
To talk so much to cause someone to be bored to death; to talk excessively or far more than is wanted or appreciated.
Origin

To Talk Someone’s Ear Off

This idiom dates back to the beginning of the 1900s'. It is thought that it originated from a Yiddish saying that implies that if someone talks to you too much and too long, you get so bored that your ear will eventually fall off. The idiom has slight negative connotations as the topic of the conversation might not be as interesting or important to the listener as it is to the speaker, causing (mild) irritation and annoyance.

In English, we can also use the idiom to bend someone’s ear in the same way, but the expression to talk someone’s ear off is far more emphatic and indicates a higher level of annoyance. Other variations: to talk someone’s’ head off; to talk the hind legs off a donkey.

Examples

- I had a drink with an old school friend I found on Facebook and we had so much to catch up on that she talked my ear off!

- I warned my colleague not to spend too much time in the boss’ office as he has a tendency to talk your ear off!

- My mother will talk your ear off, if you give her a chance!

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