Boots in Idioms
- Boots that are particularly old and well worn are thought of as being tough and strong as expressed by the phrase "tough as old boots."
- One potential fate of a discarded boot is to be used in the construction of a musical instrument known as the "mendoza."
- Tall (high) boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a tool to provide better leverage in getting the boots on. A German legend about a boy lifting himself by his bootstraps into the air, allowing him to fly, has led to the word's metaphorical use in many different contexts, such as "to pull one's self up by one's bootstraps." Further information: bootstrapping and booting
- To "die with one's boots on" means to die while one is still actively involved in work, to go down fighting. Popularized by Wild West movies.
- Boot camp: a colloquial term for the initial recruit training of a new recruit enlisting in a military organization or armed force. In this context, a "boot" is just such a recruit.
- Stormtroopers, skinheads, and other agents of authority or political strongarm tactics are typically referred to by their detractors as "jackbooted thugs," a reference to the hobnailed military jackboot of the WWI German Stormtrooper and later Nazi uniform. Authoritarian rule, either by hostile military forces, or by groups of armed intimidators, is imposed by "jackboot tactics."
- To "give one the boot" means to kick one out (of a job, a club, etc.) or expel one, either literally or figuratively.
- To "put the boot in" is an idiom for inflicting violence on someone.
- "The boot is on the other foot now" means that a situation has become reversed—a previous victor is now losing, for example.
- Wearing "seven-league boots" references a classic children's fairy tale and indicates that a person or company can cover great distances, figuratively or literally, in a single stride.
- To "shake/quake in one's boots" means to be very frightened, and is mostly used sarcastically.
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Famous quotes containing the words boots in and/or boots:
“I heard of one man who complained that somebody had stolen his boots in the night; and when he found them, he wanted to know what they had done to them,they had spoiled them,he never put that stuff on them; and the bootblack narrowly escaped paying damages.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Theres man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.”
—Samuel Beckett (19061989)