Etymology
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claw (n.)

"sharp, hooked, horny end of the limb of a mammal, bird, reptile, etc.," Old English clawu, earlier clea, "claw, talon, iron hook," from Proto-Germanic *klawo (source also of Old Frisian klawe "claw, hoe," Middle Dutch klouwe, Dutch klauw, Old High German klawa, German Klaue "claw").

Claw-foot in reference to carved furniture legs is from 1823; claw-and-ball attested from 1893. Claw-hammer, one having one end divided into two claws, is attested from 1769.

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claw (v.)

Old English clawian "to scratch, claw," from the same root as claw (n.). Related: Clawed; clawing. Compare Dutch klaauwen, Old High German klawan, German klauen.

To claw back"regain by great effort" is from 1953; as a noun, an act of this, from 1969. Earlier clawback (n.) meant "one who fawns on another, a sycophant" (1540s), from phrase claw the back "flatter, curry favor" (late 14c.); compare the more recent expression scratch (someone's) back in a similar sense.

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dew claw (n.)

also dew-claw, "rudimentary inner toe of the foot, especially the hind foot, of some dogs," 1570s, from claw, but the signification of the first element is obscure (compare dewlap).

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

also Clutie, "the devil," 1785, Scottish, literally "hoofed," from cloot "hoof, division of a hoof" (1725), which is of uncertain origin, perhaps from a dialectal survival of Old Norse klo "claw" (see claw (n.)).

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cheliped (n.)

"large, specialized chelate limb of a crustacean, great claw of a crab or lobster," 1859, Modern Latin, from chela "claw" (from Greek khēlē "claw, talon, pincers, cloven hoof," a word of uncertain origin) + Latin pod-, stem of pes "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot").

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ungual (adj.)
"pertaining to a nail or claw," 1834, from Latin unguis "a claw, nail of the finger or toe;" cognate with Greek onyx, Old English nægel, Old Norse nagl "nail;" see nail (n.).
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chelate (adj.)

in zoology, "having pincer-like claws," 1826 as a term in zoology; 1920 in chemistry, from Modern Latin chela "claw" of a crab or lobster (from Greek khēlē "claw, talon, pincers, cloven hoof," a word of uncertain origin) + -ate (2). In chemistry from 1920. Related: Chelated; chelating; chelation.

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keloid (n.)

also cheloid, 1854, from French kéloïde, from Greek khēlē "crab claw, talon, cloven hoof" + -oides (see -oid). Related: Keloidal; cheloidal.

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larkspur (n.)
type of plant, 1570s, from lark (n.) + spur (n.); so called from resemblance of the calyx and petals to the bird's long, straight hind claw.
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