pawing


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Related to pawing: pawning

pawing

a form of behavior characterized by persistent use of one forelimb to dig in the ground, or to thump it, or to scratch at a fixed object such as a door; stimulated by subacute pain, boredom.
References in classic literature ?
The man came a- pawing along in the dark, and when Packard got to my stateroom, he says:
And all the while the old man stood there a-quaking and his eyes a-burning, and not looking at his wife and daughter, which was clinging to him and begging him to keep still, but pawing them off with his hands and saying he WOULD clear his black soul from crime, he WOULD heave off this load that was more than he could bear, and he WOULDN'T bear it another hour
Lo, Miss Pross, in harness of string, awakening the echoes, as an unruly charger, whip-corrected, snorting and pawing the earth under the plane-tree in the garden!
The air was so clear and pleasant, and the horse seemed to like the idea of the ride so much himself, as he stood snorting and pawing at the garden-gate, that I had a great desire to go.