• noun ear. A common term of the 1950s and 1960s which now sounds folksy or dated, although the comedian Frankie Howerd employed ‘pin back your lugholes’ as one of his catchphrases. Lug has been the commonest colloquialism for ‘ear’ outside London since the 16th century. It originated in Middle English meaning flap or ear-cover, from an older Scandinavian word lugga, meaning to pull.