paw


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cat's-paw

A person who is used by another to achieve some end, especially in a duplicitous or cynical manner. Taken from a fable about a monkey who uses a cat's paw to retrieve chestnuts from a fire. I thought that Jake really loved me, but in the end, I was just a cat's-paw so he could stir up jealousy in his ex-boyfriend.

keep (one's) paws off (something or someone)

1. To refrain from touching or handling (something or someone). Usually said imperatively. You kids keep your paws off those cookies. They're for after dinner! I told you I wasn't interested, so keep your paws off me, you creep! That car is brand new, so keep your paws off!
2. To refrain from becoming involved with or attempting to take or control (something or someone). Usually said imperatively. That rotten bank had better keep its paws off my land! Listen, buddy, keep your paws off my sister, you hear?
See also: keep, off, paw

cat's paw

A dupe or tool for another, a sucker, as in You always try to make a cat's paw of me, but I refuse to do any more of your work. This term alludes to a very old tale about a monkey that persuades a cat to pull chestnuts out of the fire so as to avoid burning its own paws. The story dates from the 16th century and versions of it (some with a dog) exist in many languages.
See also: paw

paw at

v.
1. To strike or scrape something repeatedly with a paw or paws: The cat pawed at the ball of string and chased it around the room.
2. To handle someone or something clumsily, rudely, or with too much familiarity: Stop pawing at all the fruit in the store! I was annoyed because my date kept pawing at me.
See also: paw

paw

1. n. someone’s hand. (Jocular.) Get your paws off me!
2. tv. to feel someone or handle someone sexually. If you paw me again, I’ll slap you!
3. tv. to touch someone more than is necessary or desired, without any sexual intent. I don’t like for people to paw me while they’re shaking hands. There is no reason to shake my shoulder, too.
References in classic literature ?
The Englishman, finally concluding that he was a prisoner, saw no alternative open but to accompany his captor, and thus they traveled slowly through the jungle while the sable mantle of the impenetrable forest night fell about them, and the stealthy footfalls of padded paws mingled with the breaking of twigs and the wild calls of the savage life that Clayton felt closing in upon him.
This done Tarzan busied himself fitting the other bags, one over each of Numa's formidably armed paws.
They slept on the same cushion with their paws about each other, and gravely washed each other's faces.
The bird made a startled rise, but he struck it with his paw, and smashed it down to earth, then pounced upon it, and caught it in his teeth as it scuttled across the snow trying to rise in the air again.
I knew that I rose high out of the water, and, with clubbed rifle, dealt the animal a terrific blow upon the skull, that I saw Victory, her long blade flashing in her hand, close, striking, upon the beast, that a great paw fell upon her shoulder, and that I was swept beneath the surface of the water like a straw before the prow of a freighter.
Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad to help, if it might.
For the silly reason of wanting to study, I have lost a paw.
It was a divided cage, and a monkey, poking through the bars and around the partition, had had its paw seized by a big gray wolf who was trying to pull it off by main strength.
To many a one mayest thou not give thy hand, but only thy paw; and I wish thy paw also to have claws.
Her stealthy paws tread the very hall Where Snowball used to play, But she only spits at the dogs our pet So gallantly drove away.
They patted it with their little soft paws --"Shall we make dear little muffins?
But the wolf had laid his black paws against the window, and the children saw them and cried: 'We will not open the door, our mother has not black feet like you: you are the wolf
Then she handed it through the bars to the rabbit, who took it in his paws and opened it.
He was praying--raising his voice in thanksgiving at our deliverance--and had just completed a sort of paeon of gratitude that the thing couldn't climb a tree when without warning it reared up beneath him on its enormous tail and hind feet, and reached those fearfully armed paws quite to the branch upon which he crouched.
It happened she had once had a big blue bear for a pet; but the bear choked to death on a fishbone one day, and she loved it so dearly that Dyna made a rug of its skin, leaving the head and four paws on the hide.