tongs (n.)

Old English tange, tang "tongs, pincers, foreceps, instrument for holding and lifting," from Proto-Germanic *tango (source also of Old Saxon tanga, Old Norse töng, Swedish tång, Old Frisian tange, Middle Dutch tanghe, Dutch tang, Old High German zanga, German Zange "tongs"), literally "that which bites," from PIE root *denk- "to bite" (source also of Sanskrit dasati "biter;" Greek daknein "to bite," dax "biting"). For sense evolution, compare French mordache "tongs," from mordre "to bite."

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