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verb (transitive) (archaic)
to claw or scratch with the hands and nails
to revile; abuse
Derived Forms
clapperclawer, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from clapper + claw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for clapperclaw
Historical Examples
  • Miss clapperclaw says Bulbul is evidently smitten, and Clara too.

    The Christmas Books William Makepeace Thackeray
  • "I never knew a woman who was constantly bullied by her husband who did not like him the better for it," Miss clapperclaw says.

    The Christmas Books William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Miss clapperclaw says he acted pretty well, and that I only joke about him because I am envious, and wanted to act a part myself.

    The Christmas Books William Makepeace Thackeray
  • In the race of fashion the resolute and active De Mogyns has passed the poor old clapperclaw.

    The Book of Snobs William Makepeace Thackeray
Word Origin and History for clapperclaw

"to fight at arm's length with the hands and nails," 1590s, from clap (v.) + claw (v.). Related: Clapperclawed; clapperclawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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