[Ads-l] "clawbacked"

Mon Jun 19 21:03:20 UTC 2023

"Clawback," noun, is a standard legal and financial term referring to circumstances under which the recipient of money or property can be required to return it, so an employee payment clawback is just one example.  Black's Law Dictionary defines it as "A statutory or contractual provision that for specified reasons reverses a distribution or payment," which it dates to 1965.  For example, a bankruptcy trustee can avoid (claw back) certain preferential and fraudulent transfers; a dividend clawback is a requirement that a corporation's equity owners use dividends received to finance the corporation's future projects; a clawback agreement or provision in litigation is a contract or contractual provision between litigants specifying the procedures that a party must follow in the discovery phase of litigation to protect against waiving a privilege or work-product protection and to reclaim any inadvertently produced privileged documents.

The standard past tense of the corresponding verb is "clawed back," for which I have no trouble finding thousands of examples.  I did find a tiny number of uses of "clawbacked," but it is quite rare.  For example, Westlaw has four uses in published court opinions, three of which are from the same court.

John Baker

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> On Behalf Of Peter Reitan
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2023 11:33 AM
Subject: Re: "clawbacked"

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As I understand it, a "clawback" is a procedure in which money paid by the employer into an employee's retirement fund is clawed back from the employee in certain circumstances, before the money is fully vested.

When an employee's money has been "clawed back" from his account, the employee has been "clawbacked," that is, the employee has been subjected to the clawback procedure.

"Clawbacked" would seem strange to me if applied to the money, but seems to obey the internal logic of the meaning of "clawback," where the noun relating to the procedure is used as a verb to describe a person being subjected to the procedure.

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From: Amy West<mailto:medievalist at W-STS.COM>
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2023 6:57 AM
Subject: Re: "clawbacked"

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Poster: Amy West <medievalist at W-STS.COM<mailto:medievalist at W-STS.COM>>
Subject: Re: "clawbacked"

Thanks Victor & Garson for the further discussion of this.

This may be a "duh" point, but that solid form "clawbacked" seems to be=20
happening in the participle (would that be the term used by Huddleston &=20
Pullum) form: "has been clawbacked" vs. "has been clawed back",=C2=A0 or=20
"clawbacked pensioner" vs. "clawed-back pensioner" so perhaps that's the=20
(re)analysis that speakers are making for this form. I think that may be=20
going on in that instance that I spotted: "could be 'clawbacked'" vs.=20
"could be clawed back".

Thanks Victor for checking the Globe article: so some editor at=20
Commonwealth Magazine used the solid form, but also put it in "scare=20
quotes" ( :- ) ) for some reason: either because of it being a financial=20
term or they were uncertain of the form, perhaps?

---Amy West

On 6/18/23 00:00, ADS-L automatic digest system wrote:
> Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2023 18:35:12 -0400
> From: ADSGarson O'Toole<adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>>
> Subject: Re: "clawbacked"
> The OED mentions "claw back" under the verb "claw". The verb endings
> are applied to "claw", e.g., "clawed back".
> [Begin OED excerpt]
> claw, v.
> 2 a. To seize, grip, clutch, or pull with claws. Also figurative, to
> claw back, to regain gradually or with great effort; to take back (an
> allowance by additional taxation, etc.); to claw down, to pull down,
> to defeat; to shoot down (an aeroplane, etc.).
> 1953 Economist 21 Feb. 499/1 The Government would also make sure
> that..such tax relief was clawed back from surtax payers.
> 1957 Economist 30 Nov. 804/2 The Commercial Bank is engaged on a
> nationalist enterprise=E2=80=94clawing back from the Sassenachs, contro=
l of
> one of Scotland's banks.
> [End OED excerpt]
> Interestingly, the OED also has an entry for "claw-back" as a verb.
> But the existence of the verb is due to the
> misquotation/misunderstanding from 1589 containing "Clawbackes"
> [Begin OED excerpt]
> claw-back, v.
> imagined by Richardson, from a misquotation of Warner (see claw-back
> n. 1a, quot. 1589, where R. has clawback as a verb), and uncritically
> copied by subsequent compilers.
> [End OED excerpt]
> [Begin OED excerpt]
> claw-back, n.
> 1 a. One who claws another's back (see claw v. 4); a flatterer,
> sycophant, parasite, =E2=80=98toady=E2=80=99.
> 1589 W. Warner Albions Eng. (new ed.) v. xxv. 112 [It] doth make
> thy Foes to smile, Thy friends to weepe, and Clawbackes thee with
> Soothings to begile.
> [End OED excerpt]
> Garson
> On Sat, Jun 17, 2023 at 6:15=E2=80=AFPM ADSGarson O'Toole
> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com<mailto:adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Interesting topic, Amy and Victor.
>> The phrase "claw-backed farrier's hammer" occurred in 1893.
>> Here is an instance of "clawbacked" with a financial interpretation
>> in a Canadian newspaper in 1993.
>> Date: June 18, 1993
>> Newspaper: The Windsor Star
>> Newspaper Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
>> Section: Talking Point
>> Article: 'Clawbacked' fight back
>> Author: C. McIntyre (Essex)
>> Quote Page A7, Column 2
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> When I read Georgina Woltz's Cuts Should Target Political Pensions
>> (June 12), I wanted to stand up and cheer.
>> As a 77-year-old "clawbacked" pensioner, such as Ms. Woltz eloquently
>> describes, I (and, I suspect, many others who are similarly taxed) can
>> affirm that I would not object to the enforced clawback of part of my
>> OAS pension if I could be assured that this extra taxation would be
>> wholly applied either to reduce the deficit or for the benefit of
>> those in genuine need.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Below is "clawbacked" with a financial interpretation in a Canadian
>> newspaper in 1995.
>> Date: January 11, 1995
>> Newspaper: Times Colonist
>> Newspaper Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
>> Article: Welfare: Child tax benefit won't work
>> Author: Owen Lippert
>> Quote Page A5, Column 1
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> LLOYD AXWORTHY, in his discussion paper, Improving Social Security in
>> Canada, suggests a Child Tax Benefit (CTB) might replace Ottawa's
>> current Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) funding of provincial and
>> municipal welfare systems. A CTB would provide a cheque to all low
>> income people (on welfare or not) with children. It would gradually be
>> "clawbacked" the higher the family income.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Below is the phrase "downsized, claw-backed and NAFTAed" in 1996.
>> Date: October 21, 1996
>> Newspaper: The Vancouver Sun
>> Newspaper Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
>> Section: Opinion
>> Article: GM has more than its share of carrots
>> Author: Roger Henning (Summerland)
>> Quote Page A11, Column 5
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> Give us a break with this two-dimensional, cartoon analysis of
>> staggering profits versus even more staggering profits. GM's profits
>> were $1.4 billion last year. Canada's labor cost growth was the lowest
>> of G-7 countries. Workers here have been downsized, claw-backed and
>> NAFTAed into beggary.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Below is an instance of "clawbacking" in 2000 in Canada.
>> Date: December 13, 2000
>> Newspaper: National Post
>> Newspaper Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
>> Article: Jean Chr=C3=A9tien's 102nd lie was a whopper
>> Author: William Watson
>> Quote Page C15, Column 5
>> Database: Newspapers.com
>> [Begin excerpt]
>> The pattern is that, with a 50% rate, the $10,000 guarantee doesn't
>> phase out until you hit $20,000. Fifty per cent may sound steep. Only
>> rich people are supposed to lose half what they make, presumably. But
>> in fact, with all the clawbacking of social benefits and tax credits
>> these days, low-income folk often face taxback rates well in excess of
>> 50, which presumably discourages them from working.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Garson
>> On Thu, Jun 15, 2023 at 7:25=E2=80=AFPM Amy West<medievalist at w-sts.com=
<mailto:medievalist at w-sts.com=%0b>> wrote:
>>> Spotted this in the 14 June newsletter from CommonWealth Magazine:
>>> <begin quote>
>>> * The Healey administration scrambled to quickly earmark $80 milli=
>>> <https://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=3D001XztNcaIq-zt8eBqm_sAegZ34MP56u=<https://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=3D001XztNcaIq-zt8eBqm_sAegZ34MP56u=>
>>> unspent federal COVID relief funds before the money could be
>>> =E2=80=9Cclawbacked=E2=80=9D by the feds under terms of the rece=
ntly passed debt
>>> limit deal. (Boston Globe)
>>> <end quote>
>>> I'm noting the "clawbacked" instead of "clawed back". I no longer
>>> maintain a subscription to the Globe so can't see if it's in the
>>> original or was done by the Commonwealth Magazine newsletter writer.
>>> ---Amy West
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society -http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>

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