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  1. #1
    driftwood is offline Junior Member
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    Default To singe their ears

    One of my students asked me about what appears to be an idiom.

    As I was gathering a response to singe their ears, a Ghanaian professor of English walked in.
    source: All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes

    What does "to singe their ears" mean?

  2. #2
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: To singe their ears

    That link doesn't have the phrase (except in the search box), but that expression usually means 'give them something disturbing/shocking/exciting to listen to'.

    b

  3. #3
    driftwood is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: To singe their ears

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That link doesn't have the phrase (except in the search box), but that expression usually means 'give them something disturbing/shocking/exciting to listen to'.

    b
    I am not sure why you could not find the phrase because It still works for me. Thank you for your input anyway.

  4. #4
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: To singe their ears

    Another possible meaning - less likely in the context - is 'shoot at them and just miss, so that the bullet passes close enough to singe their ears'.

    (I blame this computer for the dysfunctional link. I hate it. )

    b

  5. #5
    DRThomas is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: To singe their ears

    At least in the USA, there is an old superstition that our ears "burn" if someone speaks poorly about us (criticizing us). A friend may tell you in jest, "I bet your ears were burning last night. Jack and I were talking about you."

    I understand "to singe their ears" to mean he wanted to say bad things about them.

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