Lend Me Your Ear (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Lend Me Your Ears"?

The term "lend me your ears" means to ask for someone's attention politely.

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Lend Me Your Ear (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • Attention, everybody.Lend me ears for a few minutes please. I have an important announcement.
  • Lend an ear when your a friend is having a tough time. Talking helps.
  • Lend me 50 dollars, not your ear.
  • (Here is word "lend" is being used in two different contexts. It is an example of zeugma.)
"Lend me your ears" is first used in William Shakespeare's tragedy "Julius Caesar," which was performed in 1599. The phrase is spoken by Mark Anthony, a Roman general and Caesar's right-hand man:
  • Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
From a grammatical perspective, "lend me your ears" is an imperative sentence. The word "lend" brings the politeness to this saying as it carries the connotation that the audience's attention is required only for a brief period. It effectively means "Please listen to me for a minute."

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