Claw

means the foot of an animal armed with claws; a hand. To claw is to lay one's hands upon things. It also means to tickle with the hand; hence to please or flatter, puff or praise. (Anglo-Saxon, clawu, a claw, with the verb clawian, to claw.)

Claw me and I will claw thee,
means, “praise me, and I will praise you,” or, scratch my back, and I will do the same for you.

“Laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.”— Shakespeare: Much Ado, etc., i. 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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