To jangle and claw each other about. (Dutch and German,
klappen, to strike, clatter.)
“Now they are clapper-clawing one another I'll go look on.” —Shakespeare: Troilus, and Cressida, v. A.
A clapper-claw is a back-scratcher.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
More on Clapperclaw from Infoplease:
- Clapperclaw - Clapperclaw To jangle and claw each other about. (Dutch and German, klappen, to strike, clatter.) ...
- Claw-backs - Claw-backs Flatterers. Bishop Jewel speaks of “the Pope's claw-back.” (See above, ...
- Inferno: Canto XXII - The Divine Comedy Inferno: Canto XXI Inferno: Canto XXIII Inferno: Canto XXII I have erewhile seen ...
- Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: C - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "C"