Earmark Something

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Earmark Something : Phrases


Marking something to indicate ownership.



This phrase comes from the ancient habit of marking cattle ears with a tab to indicate ownership. In Biblical times the custom extended to human property. In Exodus 21:6, a servant declined to go free after six years' service : "his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him forever". In the 19th century the term came to be applied to money designated for a special purpose. Later it spread to the wider application used today.

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