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in one ear and out the other

Quickly forgotten, as in Their advice to her just went in one ear and out the other. This expression, a proverb in John Heywood's 1546 collection, conjures up a graphic image of sound traveling through one's head. [Late 1300s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.