To claw away

to scold or revile.
- Tyndale.

See also: Claw

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
I had to claw away from the bank pretty lively four or five times, to keep from knocking the islands out of the river; and so I judged the raft must be butting into the bank every now and then, or else it would get further ahead and clear out of hearing -- it was floating a little faster than what I was.
Clashes with Livingston and Kilmarnock are next up at the Simple Digital Arena as the Buddies continue to claw away at the sides above them.
Tony Mowbray's side - just starting to claw away from the Championship drop zone - suffered a blow out at the Pirelli Stadium in a third round FA Cup shock to the League Two outfit in January 2011.
Josh Daniels fired straight at Winn in the 52nd minute and the home keeper did well to claw away a Ben Doherty shot in the 66th minute.
Ochoa produced a superb save in the first half, flying to his right to claw away Neymar's nodded effort, before being in the right place to repel Silva's powerful close-range header three minutes from time.
Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster did well to claw away an Andy Carroll header in the 19th minute and then saw the tall striker crash another headed effort against the West Brom crossbar in the second half.
Yet lose is almost certainly what would have happened without De Gea, who somehow managed to claw away Juan Mata's injury-time free-kick which was heading into the top corner.
Marshall then produced a superb reaction save deep into injury time to claw away Alex Bruce's header to edge Cardiff closer to a return to the top flight for the first time in 50 years.
Charlton, with just three home defeats to their name all season, remained a threat, though, and it took a stunning one-handed save from Shane Higgs to claw away a volley from Deon Burton, the striker getting in after Nicky Forster's flick.
Governments around the world have spent trillions of dollars over the past 18 months avoiding the collapse of the financial system and then trying to claw away from recession.
Desperately seeking a revival to claw away from the league's lower reaches, Foxes boss Kelly saw his side waste their own opportunities as they were punished by some brilliant finishing from red-hot Bluebird Michael Chopra.
Sergeant Iain Gregory and Constable George Ewing used their bare hands to claw away the debris over trapped and wailing three-year-old Laika - named after the first pooch in space.