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Clinch

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To bend the point of a nail after it is driven home. The word is sometimes written clench, from the French clenche, the lift of a latch. (German, klinke; Dutch, klinken, to rivet.) (See page 261, col. 1, Clench.)

That was a clincher. That argument was not to be gainsaid; that remark drove the matter home, and fixed it “as a nail in a sure place.”

A lie is called a clincher from the tale about two swaggerers, one of whom said, “I drove a nail right through the moon.” “Yes,” said the other, “I remember it well, for I went the other side and clinched it.” The French say, Je lui ai bien rivé son clou (I have clinched his nail for him).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Clerk
Clerk-ale and Church-ale
Clerkenwell (London)
Clerkly
Client
Clifford (Paul)
Climacteric
Climacteric Years
Climax
Climb
Clinch
Clinker (Humphrey)
Clio
Clipper
Clipping Pace (A)
Cliquot (of Punch celebrity)
Cloacina
Cloak and Sword Plays
Clock
Clodhopper
Clog Almanac