Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Claw

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
means the foot of an animal armed with claws; a hand. To claw is to lay one’s hands upon things. It also means to tickle with the hand; hence to please or flatter, puff or praise. (Anglo-Saxon, clawu, a claw, with the verb clawian, to claw.)   1
   Claw me and I will claw thee, means, “praise me, and I will praise you,” or, scratch my back, and I will do the same for you.   2
        “Laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.”—Shakespeare: Much Ado, etc., i. 3.



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