Ring in the Ear

A sign of slavery of life-long servitude.

“Then Eldad took an awl, and, piercing his [Jetur's] ears against the doorpost, made him his servant for ever. The elders pronounced a blessing, and Eldad put a ring through the ears of Jetur, as a sign that he was become his property.” —Eldad the Pilgrim, chap. i.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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