Etymology
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nieve (n.)

"clenched fist" (northern and Scottish dialect), c. 1300, neve, from Old Norse hnefi (related to Norwegian dialectal neve, Swedish näfve, Danish næve), not found in other Germanic languages.

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jab (n.)
1825, "a thrust or poke with the point of something," from jab (v.). Meaning "a punch with the fist" is from 1889. Sense of "injection with a hypodermic needle," once beloved by newspaper headline writers, is from 1914.
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buffet (v.)
c. 1200, "to strike with the fist or hand; cuff, box, slap;" from Old French bufeter "to strike, slap, punch," from bufet "a slap, a punch" (see buffet (n.2)). Related: Buffeted; buffeting.
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box (v.2)
"to beat, thrash, strike with the fist or hand," late 14c., from box (n.2). Meaning "to fight with the fists" (intransitive), whether gloved or not, is from 1560s. Related: Boxed; boxing.
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boxer (n.)
"fist-fighter, pugilist," late 15c., agent noun from box (v.2). The breed of dog (1934), is from German Boxer (the breed originated in Germany), itself taken from English boxer "fighter;" the dog so called for its pugnaciousness. Boxer shorts (1943) so called from their resemblance to the attire worn in the ring.
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pygmy (n.)

late 14c., Pigmei, "member of a fabulous race of dwarfs," described by Homer and Herodotus and said to inhabit Egypt or Ethiopia and India, from Latin Pygmaei (singular Pygmaeus), from Greek Pygmaioi, plural of Pygmaios "a Pygmy," noun use of adjective meaning "dwarfish."

It means etymologically "of the length of a pygmē; a pygmē tall," from pygmē "a cubit" (literally "a fist"), the measure of length from the elbow to the knuckle (equal to 18 "fingers," or about 13.5 inches; related to pyx "with clenched fist" and to Latin pugnus "fist" (from PIE root *peuk- "to prick"). The Greek use of the word in reference to the people presumably represents a folk etymology adaptation of a foreign word.

Figurative use for "person of small importance" is from 1590s. Believed in 17c. to refer to chimpanzees or orangutans, and occasionally the word was used in this sense. The ancient word was applied by Europeans to the equatorial African race, then newly discovered by them, from 1863, but the tribes probably were known to the ancients and likely were the original inspiration for the legend. As an adjective from 1590s. Related: Pygmean; Pygmaean.

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buffet (n.2)
c. 1200, "a blow struck with a fist or blunt weapon," from Old French bufet "a slap, a punch," diminutive of bufe "a blow, slap, punch; puff of wind," figuratively "cunning trick," probably echoic of the sound of something soft being hit.
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feist (n.)
also fist, "a breaking wind, foul smell, fart," mid-15c. (Old English had present participle fisting, glossing Latin festiculatio), a general West Germanic word with cognates in Middle Dutch veest, Dutch vijst; see feisty.
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kulak (n.)
1877, "relatively well-to-do Russian farmer or trader," from Russian kulak (plural kulaki) "tight-fisted person," literally "fist," from Turki (Turkish) kul "hand." In the jargon of Soviet communism, applied in contempt and derision to those who worked for their own profit.
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pugnacious (adj.)

"disposed to fight, quarrelsome," 1640s, a back-formation from pugnacity or else from Latin pugnacis, genitive of pugnax "combative, fond of fighting," from pugnare "to fight," especially with the fists, "contend against," from pugnus "a fist" (from PIE *pung-, nasalized form of root *peuk- "to prick"). Related: Pugnaciously; pugnaciousness.

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