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From the Robert E. Howard Lexicon

“The roots of her hair prickled her scalp, and tongue clove to her palate.”

-The People of the Black Circle

Howard’s use of the term above clearly means to cling, not cleave. The use of the word cleave in the second of the two biblical senses—which is “to join,” is obviously the meaning Howard chose it to represent in this instance.[1]

1. clove3



1. past of cleave.




2. split or sever (something), especially along a natural line or grain:

synonyms: split (open) • cut (up) • hew • hack • chop up • rive

 split (a molecule) by breaking a particular chemical bond.

 make a way through (something) forcefully, as if by splitting it apart:

synonyms: plow • drive • bulldoze • carve

 biology

(of a cell) divide:


Old English clēofan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch klieven and German klieben.


1. “The meaning of the Biblical word 'cleave' is relatively complex and this is exacerbated by the unfortunate fact that in English the word is capable of two almost entirely opposed meanings,” from an entry fpund at this link:

A Well of Heroes

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