from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Payment made by laceration or loss of the ears.


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  • (Obsolete) Originally might have referred to a kind of agricultural rent, but it was used as a pun to describe either 1) the loss of a person's ears in the pillory, or 2) the "tax" imposed on a listener's patience by a profitless or noisy talker.

    I love this. :-)

    July 31, 2008