Green’s Dictionary of Slang

earhole n.

1. the ear.

[UK]Blackburn Standard 10 Dec. 1/5: I am not prepared to vindicate [...] a bullet [...] through the ear-hole of a deaf old lady.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 135/1: Now, lads, let wun on yez goa tu that cornir o’ t’ ‘crib,’ an’ tothir wun tu t’ tuthir cornir, an’ keep thau ear-’oles opin.
[UK]Royal Cornwall Gaz. 20 May 7/5: Martson threatened to ‘hit him a smack in the ear-hole if he didn’t’.
[UK]Shields Dly Gaz. 28 Sept. 4/1: There was [...] a bruise just in front of the right ear-hole through which the bullet had passed.
[UK]Grantham Jrnl 19 Sept. 7/3: He hit me in the earhole first and made me deaf.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 May 3/2: And you’ve learnt to sleep so soundly that the firin’ of a gun / At your ‘ear-hole’ wouldn’t rob you of your rest.
[UK]Chelmsford Chron. 14 Feb. 2/7: he was agravated because earlier in the evening the constable had ‘clipped him in the earhole’.
[UK]Burnley Exp. 22 Aug. 11/2: Didn’t you see this man hit me under the ear-hole?
[UK]J. Curtis There Ain’t No Justice 165: Bash—something’s hit you on the earhole.
[UK]Lichfield Mercury 27 July 3/4: Defendant came into his house [and] putting his fist up, said, ‘I will put this under your — earhole’.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights n.p.: The clerk of the court jumped up and had a little wisper in the judge’s earhole.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 442: ‘That was an earhole.’ ‘You can’t fracture an ear, Keith.’.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 159: ‘Heard you were organising some gig up the Asian Centre?’ ‘Your earholes working overtime Andy?’.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 89: I can see all the little ear’oles tweaking to hear better.

2. a toady, a sycophant.

[UK]Brummagem Dict. [Internet] earhole n. a creep; a brown-nose; someone who sucks up to a teacher or a boss.

3. an act of listening, of eavesdropping.

[UK]F. Norman Guntz 42: I [...] had a quick butchers around the room to make sure no one was having an earhole.

In phrases

on the earhole (also on the Happy New ’Ear) [one is talking into a victim’s earhole]

(UK Und.) on the scrounge.

[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 346: Ear-hole (On the). Wanting to borrow.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 87: Earhole, On The: Cadging. Trying to borrow.
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 15: Watchew come here for then? On the earhole?
[UK]F.D. Sharpe Sharpe of the Flying Squad 329: On the earhole, on the Happy New ’Ear [...] ‘getting something for nothing’.
[UK]J. Burke Till Death Us Do Part 59: That’s all right then. Only don’t come round on the earhole for the money later on.
[UK]Galton & Simpson ‘Man of Letters’ Steptoe and Son [TV script] harold: The vicar. albert: Oh gawd, is he on the ear’ole again?
[UK](con. 1920s–30s) Barltrop & Wolveridge Muvver Tongue 35: In the ’twenties and ’thirties every true Englishman in Stepney knew that [...] a ‘schnorrer’ was someone on the earhole.
[UK](con. 1960s) A. Frewin London Blues 97: Don’t come to me on the earhole when you’re skint.