Why was clemency trending last week?
"to indulge in caresses and fondling endearments" [OED], by 1850s, said to be U.S. slang, of uncertain origin. The earliest known sources are British, but they tend to identify the word as American. In the 1830s it seems to have been in use in Britain in a sense of "cheat" or "overpower." Related: Canoodled; canoodling.
[1850s+; origin uncertain; said to be Oxford University slang, ''paddle a canoe,'' which might lead to amorous behavior and blandishment, as little as this seems likely in an unstable watercraft]