boot [a list of dictionary defintitions - - Forum Mod.]

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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boot [a list of dictionary defintitions - - Forum Mod.]

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:13 pm

Im an accouting major and it was brought up during a class meeting the origin of the word "boot", referring to money. Can someone please tell me why its called boot?
Thanks, Jason from Indiana Univeristy
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boot [a list of dictionary defintitions - - Forum Mod.]

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:27 pm

In short, it seems to derive from an Old English word bot or bote which in turn derives from the German busse. It is likely that our term "booty" as in plunder derived from it. I have set forth what I turned up and you can trace it yourself. To boot, it is probably more than you bargained for, but that is the boot you must pay for venturing into Word Wizard Land. *G*

From M-W, Coll. Dict. 10th ed.:

Main Entry: boot
Function: noun
Etymology: [^1]boot
Date: 1593
archaic : BOOTY, PLUNDER

Main Entry: boo.ty
Pronunciation: 'bü-tE
Function: noun
Etymology: modification of Middle French butin, from Middle Low German bute exchange
Date: 15th century
Inflected Form(s): plural booties
1 : plunder taken (as in war); especially : plunder taken on land as distinguished from prizes taken at sea
2 : a rich gain or prize
synonym see SPOIL

From The Maven's Archives:

Boot: ". . .The boot part of the word doesn't refer to footwear, but rather to a different, archaic word boot that has meanings like 'something given in exchange; advantage; remedy; relief'. The only common use of this word today is in the expression to boot meaning 'in addition; besides'.

Further discussion can be found in Webster's 1913 Dictionary:

Boot (?), n. [OE. bot, bote, adbantage, amends, cure, AS. bt; akin to Icel. bt, Sw. bot, Dan. bod, Goth. bta, D. boete, G. busse; prop., a making good or better, from the root of E. better, adj. 255.]

1. Remedy; relief; amends; reparation; hence, one who brings relief.

He gaf the sike man his boote. Chaucer.
Thou art boot for many a bruise And healest many a wound. Sir W. Scott.
Next her Son, our soul's best boot. Wordsworth.
2. That which is given to make an exchange equal, or to make up for the deficiency of value in one of the things exchanged.

I'll give you boot, I'll give you three for one. Shak.
3. Profit; gain; advantage; use. [Obs.]

Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot. Shak.
To boot, in addition; over and above; besides; as a compensation for the difference of value between things bartered.
Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot. Shak.
A man's heaviness is refreshed long before he comes to drunkenness, for when he arrives thither he hath but changed his heaviness, and taken a crime to boot. Jer. Taylor.

Boot (Page: 167)
Boot, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Booted; p. pr. & vb. n. Booting.]

1. To profit; to advantage; to avail; -- generally followed by it; as, what boots it?

What booteth it to others that we wish them well, and do nothing for them? Hooker.
What subdued To change like this a mind so far imbued With scorn of man, it little boots to know. Byron.
What boots to us your victories? Southey.
2. To enrich; to benefit; to give in addition. [Obs.]

And I will boot thee with what gift beside Thy modesty can beg. Shak.

Boot (Page: 167)
Boot, n. [OE. bote, OF. bote, F. botte, LL. botta; of uncertain origin.]

1. A covering for the foot and lower part of the leg, ordinarily made of leather.

2. An instrument of torture for the leg, formerly used to extort confessions, particularly in Scotland.

So he was put to the torture, which in Scotland they call the boots; for they put a pair of iron boots close on the leg, and drive wedges between them and the leg. Bp. Burnet.
3. A place at the side of a coach, where attendants rode; also, a low outside place before and behind the body of the coach. [Obs.]

4. A place for baggage at either end of an old-fashioned stagecoach.

5. An apron or cover (of leather or rubber cloth) for the driving seat of a vehicle, to protect from rain and mud.

6. (Plumbing) The metal casing and flange fitted about a pipe where it passes through a roof. Boot catcher, the person at an inn whose business it was to pull off boots and clean them. [Obs.] Swift. -- Boot closer, one who, or that which, sews the uppers of boots. -- Boot crimp, a frame or device used by bootmakers for drawing and shaping the body of a boot. -- Boot hook, a hook with a handle, used for pulling on boots. -- Boots and saddles (Cavalry Tactics), the trumpet call which is the first signal for mounted drill. -- Sly boots. See Slyboots, in the Vocabulary.

Boot (Page: 167)
Boot, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Booted; p. pr. & vb. n. Booting.]

1. To put boots on, esp. for riding.

Coated and booted for it. B. Jonson.
2. To punish by kicking with a booted foot. [U. S.] <-- boot out. (obj=a person) (Colloq.) Eject; throw out. -->

Boot (Page: 167)
Boot, v. i. To boot one's self; to put on one's boots.

Boot (Page: 167)
Boot, n. Booty; spoil. [Obs. or R.] Shak.
Reply from Leif Thorvaldson (Eatonville - U.S.A.)
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