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 ?
Again and again the lioness repeated these tactics, until finally the horrified prisoner within saw a portion of the lattice give way, and in an instant one great paw and the head of the animal were thrust within the room.
My mammoth enemy was so close by this time that I knew I must feel the weight of one of his terrible paws before I could rise, but to my surprise the blow did not fall upon me.
Tarzan pushed Numa forward until his head was almost in the aperture, then as though it were an afterthought, he turned quickly and, taking the machine gun from the parapet, placed it in the bottom of the hole close at hand, after which he turned again to Numa, and with his knife quickly cut the garters that held the bags upon his front paws.
She met his onslaught with one contemptuous sweep of her capable paw.
There might be opportunity for a deft and ripping thrust of paw into the tender, unguarded belly.
And while they were asking whence the quarrel arose, and what the cause of this anger, a herald drew near bearing a wand in his paws, Pot-visitor the son of great-hearted Cheese-carver.
Swinging myself outward, I began the descent, and had come to within a few feet of the ground, being just opposite a narrow window, when I was startled by a savage growl almost in my ear, and then a great taloned paw darted from the aperture to seize me, and I saw the snarling face of a lion within the embrasure.
But I had to have it; so I went down on my hands and knees, with one slipper on and the other in my hand, and began to paw gently around and rake the floor, but with no success.
We had been driven far south - much farther that way than we had meant to go; and suddenly, up there in the slings of the foreyard, in the midst of our work, I felt my shoulder gripped with such force in the carpenter's powerful paw that I positively yelled with unexpected pain.
For four days he had struggled, yelled, and wrenched at the heavy iron bars of his prison without ceasing, and had nearly slain a Lascar incautious enough to come within reach of the great hairy paw.
Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of the Head Wolf is Law.
With one blow of his paw he sent the Scarecrow spinning over and over to the edge of the road, and then he struck at the Tin Woodman with his sharp claws.
Like a monkey which puts its paw into the narrow neck of a jug, and having seized a handful of nuts will not open its fist for fear of losing what it holds, and therefore perishes, the French when they left Moscow had inevitably to perish because they carried their loot with them, yet to abandon what they had stolen was as impossible for them as it is for the monkey to open its paw and let go of its nuts.
Automatic and involuntary as his heart-beating and air-breathing, was his defence of his meat once he had his paw on it, his teeth in it.
He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog.