Some people swear by cleavers; others (like me) are terrified by them.
Before him was a glass counter wherein were displayed knives and cleavers and scissors and other cutlery.
The antique fireplace and the ancient mantelpiece were forced to keep company with meat blocks and butchers' cleavers.
It was formerly the custom for butchers' assistants to provide themselves with marrow-bones and cleavers for musical effects.
The town might follow us to church with a serenade of marrowbones and cleavers, as they do the butchers.
There was a tremendous noise of cauldrons and cleavers, and the odour of cooking spread through the whole house.
Then there arrived the butchers, with their marrowbones and cleavers, and began to make their music with zeal.
A tremendous noise of cleavers and pans came from the kitchen.
And now the bark is sailing up the Thames, with bells ringing, bonfires blazing, and "bones and cleavers" clashing.
The men who play the bells have got scent of the marriage; and the marrow-bones and cleavers too; and a brass band too.
late 15c., "one who splits," agent noun from cleave (v.1). Originally "one who splits boards with a wedge instead of sawing;" attested as part of a surname from mid-14c. Meaning "butcher's chopper" is from mid-15c.
This last ["Marrowbones and Cleaver"] is a sign in Fetter Lane, originating from a custom, now rapidly dying away, of the butcher boys serenading newly married couples with these professional instruments. Formerly, the band would consist of four cleavers, each of a different tone, or, if complete, of eight, and by beating their marrowbones skilfully against these, they obtained a sort of music somewhat after the fashion of indifferent bell-ringing. When well performed, however, and heard from a proper distance, it was not altogether unpleasant. ... The butchers of Clare market had the reputation of being the best performers. ... This music was once so common that Tom Killigrew called it the national instrument of England. [Larwood & Hotten, "The History of Signboards from the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]