(S.Afr. Und.) an eavesdropper .
|Crime in S. Afr. 106: an ‘earysipelas kid’ is an eavesdropper.|
|Und. Speaks 36/2: Erie Canal, a person listening in on a private conversation.|
1. see on the earhole under earhole n.
2. (US Und./prison, also on the earie, …eary) eavesdropping; also used as a warning (see cit. 1949).
|Und. and Prison Sl.|
|San Quentin Bulletin in L.A. Times 6 May 7: ON THE ERIE, shut up, someone is listening.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 673: Horsey is in there on the old Ear-ie, and very much interested in their conversation.‘A Piece of Pie’ in|
|Runyon à la Carte 25: Around on the Ear-ie finding out what is going on.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 166: on the erie [...] a stool pigeon; some one is listening.|
|DAUL 65/1: Earie. 1. An eavesdropper. 2. The act of eavesdropping. ‘Zex (look out)! That dude (fellow) on the earie is working too hard (purposefully intent).’.et al.|
|Felony Tank (1962) 15: That sonofabitch was on the Erie!|
|World’s Toughest Prison 798: earie – Listening to another’s conversation; eavesdropping.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 58: Torino and Hush spent their time on the eary here and there [...] trolling for gossip that could be turned into gold.|
|Sweet La-La Land (1999) 78: On the eary. Hearing every word that was spoken.|
|(con. 1920s) Legs 69: Too many guys on the eary in here.|