ears are burning, one's

Idioms & Phrases

ears are burning, one's

Be disconcerted by what one hears, especially when one is being talked about. For example, Were your ears burning? Jim was telling us about your exploits. Similarly, make one's ears burn means "to embarrass," as in Mom's stories about us as babies make my ears burn. These expressions allude to one's ears turning red from blushing.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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