Entries linking to ear-plug
"organ of hearing," Old English eare "ear," from Proto-Germanic *auzon (source also of Old Norse eyra, Danish øre, Old Frisian are, Old Saxon ore, Middle Dutch ore, Dutch oor, Old High German ora, German Ohr, Gothic auso), from PIE *ous- "ear" (source also of Greek aus, Latin auris, Lithuanian ausis, Old Church Slavonic ucho, Old Irish au "ear," Avestan usi "the two ears").
þe harde harte of man, þat lat in godis word atte ton ere & vt atte toþir. [sermon, c. 1250]
In music, "capability to learn and reproduce by hearing," 1520s, hence play by ear (1670s). The belief that itching or burning ears means someone is talking about you is mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History" (77 C.E.). Until at least the 1880s, even some medical men still believed piercing the ear lobes improved one's eyesight. Meaning "handle of a pitcher" is mid-15c. (but compare Old English earde "having a handle"). To be wet behind the ears "naive" is from 1902, American English. Phrase walls have ears is attested from 1610s. French orielle, Spanish oreja are from Latin auricula (Medieval Latin oricula), diminutive of auris.
1620s, "piece of wood or other substance, usually in the form of a peg or bottle-cork, used to stop a hole in a vessel," originally a seamen's term, probably from Dutch plug, Middle Dutch plugge "bung, stopper," related to Norwegian plugg, Danish pløg (the Scandinavian words also might be from Low German), North Frisian plaak, Middle Low German pluck, German Pflock; all of uncertain etymology. The Irish and Gaelic words are said to be from English.
The sense of "wad or stick of tobacco" is attested from 1728, based on resemblance. Meaning "branch pipe from a water main leading to a point closed by a cap where a hose can be easily attached" is by 1727. Electrical sense is from 1883, based on being inserted; meaning "sparking device in an internal combustion engine" is from 1886. Meaning "advertisement" is recorded by 1902, American English, perhaps from verb sense "work energetically at" (c. 1865).