1. a hand, a finger.
|Tom Tyler & his Wife (1661) in Two Tudor ‘Shrew’ Plays (1908) 40: When I come in her claws, She guides me for ever.|
|Chances V iii: Now the Devil indeed Lay his ten Claws upon thee.|
|Works (1869) II 239: If I saw any of my acquaintance [...] I would stand vp, vailing my Bonnet, kissing my right claw, extending my armes as if I had been swimming.‘World runnes on Wheeles’ in|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 122: Let Davy’s dust and a well-faked claw / For fancy coves be the only law.‘The House Breaker’s Song’ in Farmer|
|Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 51: But Antonio, like most of those sage ‘Johnny Raws’ [...] They have never experienced a gripe from his claws.‘The Merchant of Venice’|
|Southern Journal Monticelllo, Missip. 13 Mar. 1: You didn’t know I carried a snappin turtle in my pocket, did you? I guess you didn’t, or you wouldn’t ha’ poked your dirty claw right into its mouth that ere way!‘The Snapping Turtle’|
|Box and Cox in Darkey Drama 6 9: Nuff ced – gib us yer claw (they shake hands).|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 458: I’ll make’em eat their pistols and bowie-knives ef I gets my claws on’em.|
|Sporting Times 8 Mar. 2/1: That grabber’s claw went out for those six nice little fivers, but simultaneously there shot out three nice little hard boxwood rakes from our side of the table.|
|Big League (2004) 11: The old Crab was on the bench with ossification of the right claw.‘The Crab’|
|Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I ix: Who’s ter know youse gets yer claws on it?|
|Dames Don’t Care (1960) 128: I am just goin’ to do a little quiet house-bustin’ just to see if i can get my claws on somethin’ that I would like very much to find.|
|Seraph on the Suwanee (1995) 614: She reached up a freckled old claw and flung back the bib part of her floppy calico bonnet.|
|Getaway in Four Novels (1983) 61: Get that red paint off your claws. It’s making me sick.|
|Exit 3 and Other Stories 109: Take your clammy claw off me, blueboy.|
|He who Shoots Last 96: Wot d’ya wants me to do? Stand in da corner wif a glass of mudder and daughter in me claw?|
|Traveller’s Tool 36: Most of us appreciate cash in the claw.|
|Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 130: Then he got his claws round the mirror and ripped it clean off the wall.letter 22 May|
2. (UK prison) a blow with a whip; usu. as claws for breakfast
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
3. (US Und.) the member of a pickpocket team who actually steals.
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 24: claw [...] Current amongst pickpockets. The [...] expert operator in a ‘gun mob’ who lifts the money and valuable collateral from the victim’s person. Example: ‘Our mob is working under one of the speediest claws in the country.’.|
|DAUL 44/2: Claw. The skilled pickpocket in a gang.et al.|
4. (US Und.) a police officer.
a sycophant, a toady.
|2nd Sermon before Edward VI (Arb.) 64: These flattering clawbackes are originall rotes of all mischyue .|
|Mirror for Magistrates (1815) 73: And I had clawbackes even in Court full rife, / Which sought by mine outrages gaines to winne.et al.|
|Vpon Eng. Prouerbes 49/2: Whores are still Clawbacks to knaues but for lack: Who stil claw their bellyes as they claw their backe.|
|Discovery of New World Bk 2 184: Your Spanish Mimike is a meere ninnihammer vnto these Clawback-courtiers.|
|Dictionarie in Eng. and Latine 314: A Pick-thank, or claw-back, Adulator.|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk III 451: These are my Flatterers, [...] my Clawbacks, my Saluters.(trans.)|
|Gloss. (1888) I 165: claw-back. One who scratches another’s back. Metaphorically, a flatterer.|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk I 44: And some of the other women would give these names, my Roger, my cockatoo, my nimble-wimble, bush-beater, claw-buttock, evesdropper, pick-lock, pioneer, bully-ruffin, smell-smock, trouble-gusset, my lusty live sausage.(trans.)|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
a sycophant, a toady.
|Chronicle at Large (1809) I 601: Certeine Claw-poules & Parasites, commonly called Titiuils, and tale tellers.|
see craw-thumper n. (2)
(UK prison) a judicial whipping.
|Seven Curses of London 89: Whipping while in prison – scroby or claws for breakfast.|
|In Strange Company 131: A ruffian, being uncertain as to the morning when he is to have, as he himself would say, ‘claws for breakfast,’ is in the habit of lying night after night in a sweat of terror.|
|Tag, Rag & Co. 222: No day or hour is mentioned for it at the time at which a man receives his sentence when he is to have ‘claws for breakfast,’ as it is called.|
|Aus. and Homeward 335: Some of their slang may be interesting [...] whipping while in prison, claws for breakfast.|
(Aus.) to be ruined, to be finished, to be irreparably damaged.
|Dinkum Aussie Dict. 28: Had the claw: Something or someone is buggered. Normally used in reference to a piece of machinery which will no longer work as in, ‘Sorry, mate, but your washing machine’s had the bloody claw.’ Pieces of machinery can also be deemed to have had the ‘sword’, ‘Richard’ or ‘Dick’.|
1. to arrest.
2. to inform on.