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 furniture is from 1823; claw-and-ball attested from 1893. Claw-hammer attested from 1769.
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.
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