I would have said: "I only heard it out of the corner of my ear." This would be an amusing comparison of hearing to vision, by hijacking the turn of speech about only seeing something out of the corner of your eye (i.e. only in your peripheral vision) and employing it to paint a picture of only having heard something vaguely because the sound was too soft or because you weren't paying full attention to a background conversation.
Instead, you're performing an infelicitous hijacking of the turn of speech about something being on the tip of your tongue.
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