clap, noun3

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English; echoic.
obs.
1. [Perhaps a back-formation from clapping.] click.
1822 W.J. Burchell Trav. I. 192The Hottentots call this shrub ’Num’num (or Noomnoom, agreeably to English orthography), each syllable preceded by a guttural clap of the tongue.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 251This dialect..has a greater affinity to that of the Hottentots proper, than of the Bushmen; and though requiring a more frequent use of the different claps of the tongue than the former, yet it does not employ them so often as the latter.
1835 A. Smith Diary (1940) II. 187They spoke a language which consisted almost entirely of claps and quite unintelligible to them.
2.
a. The crack of a whip.
1822 [see loop sense 1 a].
1939 S. Cloete Watch for Dawn 33Clap and echo sounded into the mountains; birds rose from the trees; and the peace of the valley was broken.
b. With qualifying word: back-clap, the crack of a whip behind one’s head.
c1963 B.C. Tait Durban Story 2The fellow who could in one and the same swing, reverse the whip and achieve a back-clap, was the show-off of the street.
click.
The crack of a whip.
back-clap, the crack of a whip behind one’s head.

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18221963