• synonyms


verb (tr) archaic
  1. to claw or scratch with the hands and nails
  2. to revile; abuse
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Derived Formsclapperclawer, noun

Word Origin for clapperclaw

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

Related Words for clapperclaw

tentacle, paw, fingernail, talon, nipper, crook, hook, barb, spur, unguis, clapperclaw, fang, manus, grapnel, grappler, retractile, ungula

Examples from the Web for clapperclaw

Historical Examples of clapperclaw

  • 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper