1. (US milit.) any new recruit in the US armed forces; also attrib.
|Recruiter’s Bulletin (U.S.) Apr. 11/1: One of the ‘boots’ transferred to the Recruit Depot recently [OED].|
|Burlington Wkly Free Press (VT) 16 Jan. 14/5: Before the ‘boot’, as a rookie is called in Marine parlance, has had skirmish drill.|
|(con. 1917) Mattock 114: A chance to train mobs of boots into soldiers in a month! And the front lousy with war babies!|
|Time 11 Nov. 22: To mold ‘boots’ (Navy lingo for recruits) into the indefinable likeness of a Marine takes hard work.|
|Battle Cry (1964) 12: We’ll be in isolation for a couple of weeks [...] Boot camp, they call it. [Ibid.] 46: The platoons of boots gawked in amusement.|
|(con. 1950) Band of Brothers 20: Captain, I am. But a boot. Unaware. Inexperienced.|
|Chosen Few (1966) 24: Saluting all personnel out of boot training is mandatory for boots. Is that clear?|
|False Starts 44: We wore the same haircut as Marine boots, a chopped off stubble.|
|(con. 1968) Citadel (1989) 261: He wanted no part of a clutch of boot Marines.|
|Robbers (2001) 129: Some unthinking boot in back panics and hollers.|
|Last Burn in Hell 15: Some new guard— or new boot, if you’re upon on prison lingo.|
2. (US/UK black) a fellow black (usu. derog.) [black boots].
|(con. 1950s) Man Walking On Eggshells 201: Yeh man a boot running around claiming he’s beat is about as far off base as a gray boy running around talking ’bout he’s got the blues.|
|Ghetto Sketches 158: It wouldn’t do for two boots to stroll in late.|
3. (US) a derog. term for a black person; also attrib. [black boots].
|Corner Boy 101: Never seen a boot neighborhood yet wasn’t a mess.|
|City of Spades (1964) 22: My Dad has taught me that in England some foolish man may call me sambo, darkie, boot or munt or nigger, even.|
|Snakes (1971) 35: Them some crazy niggers, damn! [...] They dont even be making sense to one another much less to other boots and some of these simple-ass grays.|
|Fort Apache, The Bronx 35: He’d run through his whole repertoire on the ‘boots and the pineapples’, the current precinct names for blacks and Puerto Ricans.|
4. a woman, the implication is an unattractive one; thus often as old boot.
|Cockade (1965) I iii: Yes corporal – no corporal ... kiss my old boot’s fat arse corporal – is that it?‘Prisoner and Escort’ in|
|Saved Scene iii: Gunged-up ol’ boot.|
|Viz June/July 35: I’m dying, you old boot!|
|Filth 16: As we go the old boot screeches miserably.|
|Grits 38: A didunt fancy er [...] fuck no, scraggy old boot, witchy, sour-face. [Ibid.] 91: That slag a pulled in-a Ship, an she wuz a fuckin boot if trewth be teld.|
|Out of Bounds (2017) 229: Jeremy laughed indulgently [...] ‘Very funny, you silly old boot’.|
5. (US campus) an automobile tyre.
|AS XXIX:2 94: Boots, n. Tires.‘Hot Rod Terms’|
|Current Sl. I:2 1/2: Boots, n. Tires.|
6. (US/W.I.) a condom.
|Dict. Contemp. and Colloq. Usage.|
|Official Dancehall Dict. 6: Boots condoms: u. man mus’ always ride wid ’im boots.|
(US) a derog. ref. to a black person.
|(con. 1986) Sweet Forever 252: You could bury a few bootheads real easy with twenty-five rounds.|
(US) a black person.
|Lang. of Ethnic Conflict 47: afro-americans Allusions to Other Physical Differences: bootlips.|
|Prison Sl. 55: Boot Lip A black person.|
(US black) to put on a condom.
(Aus.) an excl. of dismissal, rejection.
|‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxv 6/2: inya boot: An expression used instead of ‘I do not concur with you.’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 94:3 70: [It] leads not to knowledge, but to the ‘in yer boot’ syndrome, and complete social paralysis.|
|Orange Coast Mag. Sept. 133/3: In Yer Boot: expression of disagreement.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.|
see stuff me! under stuff v.1
SE in slang uses
|Family Arsenal 194: We had these mates. We called ourselves ‘the Penge boys’ – boot-boys, like.|
|Dict. of the Teenage Revolution 24: Bootboy. A member of an aggressive, usually skinhead street gang.|
|Yes We Have No 96: We squat on the curb, surrounded by boot boys.|
|(con. 1980) A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 238: I recognized some of them as the boot-boys from the front bar.|
the servant whose task it is to help guests off with and to clean their boots on arrival at an inn.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
a juror who would rather ‘eat their boots’ than find anyone guilty.
|Waterford Mail 2 Aug. 4/4: The one boot-eater who pertinaceously held out, is praised in proportionto the abuse heaped upon his fellows.|
|Freeman’s Jrnl (Dublin) 10 Dec. 3/2: He was unrivalled as a Protestant juror, and could always be relied on as a ‘boot-eater’ in the cause.|
|London Eve. Standard 27 July 2/6: The boot-eater’s power of endurance was not equal to the trial it was likely to undergo and he submited to the honest verdict of his brother jurors.|
|Dublin Eve. Mail 16 Feb. 2/5: A good boot-eater, who impedes the course of justice, has his reward.|
|Twice Round the Clock 89: An Irish gentleman whose presence on the panel was considered invaluable at state trials, he having the reputation of an indomitable ‘boot-eater.’.|
|Saunders News-Letter (Dublin) 30 Sept. 3/2: It is not improbable that there may sometimes creep into the jury-box what is known as a ‘boot-eater’ [...] There ought always to be allowance made for at least one ‘boot-eater’ or crotchetty person in every jury.|
|Pall Mall Gaz. 17 Mar. 3/3: The celebrated species of jury-man known as the boot-eater [...] One boot-eater , feeling [...] that his religion and love of country depended on his holding out [...] could baffle the most elaborate attempt to bring a criminal to punishment.|
|Pall Mall Gaz. 30 Dec. 11/1: Rumour says there are at least nine boot-eaters in the Parnell jury.|
|Yorks. Eve. Post 14 Jan. 4/3: The verdict of ‘Not Guilty’ rendered by an eleven of the vaunted Palladium starved into acquiescence by one determined boot-eater.|
|Dly Mirror 30 Aug. 10/3: I rather like the epithet, ‘a boot-faced gloom,’ with which to wither your dearest foe.|
|Western Morn. News 14 Nov. 5/3: A lot of pressure is brought to bear with that motive, and it is pressure we are quite boot-faced about.|
|Yes We Have No 304: Another boot-faced zombie.|
|Guardian G2 1 Mar. 16: The usherette was boot-faced.|
|Sun. Times 6 Feb. 11/3: The PC lobby [...] wants the commission to be a strident, boot-faced, politically correct thought police.|
see heeltap n. (1)
see separate entry.
see separate entries.
a sycophant, a toady.
see separate entries.
see separate entries.
(orig. US) to improve one’s lot in life by one’s own efforts; thus bootstrapper n., bootstrapping adj.
|[||N.Y. Times 19 June VII 10: Dale Carnegie’s classic bootstrapper, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ [HDAS]].|
|Time 27 Aug. 91: For its bootstrapping job, the [petroleum] industry is earning its merited reward [HDAS].|
|Business Week 2 Nov. 103: Sullivan’s idea of Negroes bootstrapping themselves has solidified his business support [HDAS].|
|Everett (WA) Herald 27 Sept. 5b: The tribe has been ‘bootstrapping’ itself for the past 40 years as it struggled to develop the land of the reservation [HDAS].|
|Delta Force 90: The Army gave me the year to bootstrap. I found I loved school and I graduated with a 3.5 grade average.|
|Amer. Politics Journal 30 Dec. n.p.: Could this be Newt’s plan to bootstrap himself into the Senate?|
|Taboo 281: Although any one athlete may bootstrap himself to stardom, the pattern of athletic success is circumscribed by the biology of human evolution.|
see everlasting shoes under shoe n.
(US black) a general query as to the state of affairs; is everything in order? are you ready? do you understand?
|Jive and Sl.|
|Juba to Jive 10: Are [one’s] boots laced (1930s–1940s) inquiry as to whether or not things are in their proper order, or, more vaguely, [...] as to whether or not one understands whatever is in question.|
(US drugs) the lowest class of narcotics user.
|AS XI:2 119/1: boots-and-shoes. A down-and-out addict who has literally sold or pawned all his clothes to buy dope. All underworld addicts eventually ‘go boots-and-shoes.’.‘Argot of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 1 in|
|Opium Addiction in Chicago.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Who Live In Shadow (1960) 17: He is what is known around Junktown as a birdcage hype, a flophouse type, a boot-and-shoer.|
see snatch-and-grab booster under booster n.2
(US) to urge, to force.
|Damon Runyon (1992) 220: Never a handy / Guy like Sande / Bootin’ them babies in.in Breslin|
(Aus./N.Z.) absolutely, completely, with no reservations.
|Maitland Mercury (NSW) 6 Apr. 2/5: It became celebrated lately for the famous parish of Hastings [...] when many an expectant, cocksure of jumping into a fortune, boots and all, was bamboozled out of cash certain for prizes improbable.|
|‘How Sally Hooter Got Snake-Bit’ in Polly Peablossom’s Wedding 72: He was [...] er slobberin’ at the mouth, an’ er cuttin up shines worse nor er bob-tail bull in fly time! I tell you what, ef he didn’t go it boots that time, I don’t know!|
|Brisbane Courier 5 Feb. 3/3: If he passes the Rubicon safely, and makes a fair profit on his crop, we all mean to gird up our loins, and rush head first, head and tail, boots and all, into sugar.|
|Blackbirding In The South Pacific 134: I mean to live, if I have to eat you, boots and all. Understand?|
|Courier Mail (Brisbane) 5 Mar. 11/3: ‘Boots and all’ means on your toes, and applies to the whole team.|
|Canbera Times 7 June 2/4: Mr. Taylor said there was only one way to fight an influence such as Mr. Lang had no the Labour Party, and that was ‘boots and all.’ .|
|For Rest of our Lives 96: The next thing he’ll do is counter-attack, boots and all.|
|Jimmy Brockett 86: It’d have been boots and all then for Jimmy Brockett.|
|Eng. Lang. in Aus. and N.Z. 107: The list of items valid in both countries is a long one and would include [...] boots and all ‘without reservation’ (especially in the phrase ‘be in boots and all’).|
|G’DAY 113: He jumped in, boots an’ all, and Davo racked off with the capital.|
|Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 18/2: boots and all no holds barred, complete or enthusiastic commitment.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].|
see under die v.
see from hell to breakfast under hell n.
(US black) to come up to date.
|Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 18: Those who ain’t hipped better get their boots on.|
|posting 12 Aug. at MRTRally.com.au [Internet] It’s hardly a ‘quiet’ BOV when he gave it the boot as I could hear the thing sitting behind him in traffic.|
see under hang up one’s... v.
(US black) to be wise, sophisticated, intelligent.
|‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb. sect. 2: GOT YOUR BOOTS LACED. – To inquire whether or not a person completely understands, or is prepared.|
|‘Sl. among Nebraska Negroes’ in AS XIII:4 Dec. 317/1: Hip me to the jive! and lace my boots! mean ‘put me wise!’ Thus to be hipped or to have one’s boots laced is to be aware of a situation.|
|Jitterbug Jamboree Song Book 32: got your boots on: know what it’s all about.|
|New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 256: got your boots on: you know what it is all about, you are a hep cat, you are wise.|
|‘Jiver’s Bible’ in Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.|
|Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 6: A fine frame moves on in most frantic with her boots laced laying much tracks. It’s that lil old ice cream cone D, and You can believe the cats scream murder when she goes into her canary act.|
|(con. 1940s–60s) Straight from the Fridge Dad 17: Boots laced up tight Hep, righteous, in the know, a suave customer.|
a general intensifier, e.g. fight like old boots, to fight enthusiastically.
|Sixteen-String Jack 122: I hooked it; and, calling in the Charlies, why we fetched ’em on like old boots, sir, at the very fact.|
|Frank Fairlegh (1878) 223: He [...] drove his heels into ‘Tom Trot’ – that’s the new grey horse, sir, if you please – and was out of sight like old boots.|
|F&H].Sir Jasper xxvii, 282: I’ll stick to you like old boots [|
|Sl. Dict. 241: Old boots a simile as general in its application as it is irrelevant. ‘Like old boots’ means like anything. ‘As cheeky as old boots;’ ‘As quick as old boots,’ seem a little more reasonable, new boots being somewhat unfavourable to speedy locomotion.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 22 Mar. 5/1: He’ll guzzle down milk like old boots.|
|‘’Arry on Derby Day’ in Punch 1 June 258/1: He lectured me, too, like old boots.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 186/2: Old boots, To fight like. Fight like Marlborough – the first English general to wear immense jack boots. [...] ‘My dawg can fet like old boots, and shoon too.’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 July 9/3: Scorbutic youths – absurd galoots – / And aged baldheads go / And are uplifted, like Old Boots, / By sitting through our show.|
|Ulysses 590: He could spin those yarns for hours on end all night long and lie like old boots.|
|Advertiser (Adelaide) 20 Jan. 11/7: An early nickname for his Satanic Majesty, ‘Old Boots’ survives in the expression ‘It’s raining like Old Boots’.|
(US) comprehensively, convincingly, totally.
|Omaha Dly Bee (NE) 19 Jan. 4/1: Policeman Byrne [...] on the streets again, ready to shake the disorderly ones out of their boots if they don’t come along with him.|
|Arizona Republican (Phoenix, AZ) 24 May 2/1: [He] predicts that the Democratic party will be whipped out of its boots in November.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Jan. 24/3: First hand I picked up on my return was a heart-flush, and I rose the board out of its boots, and had them all working for me for a fortnight.|
(costermonger) to prosper, to make money.
|London Life 42: These knights of the barrow – in the language of the fraternity – often boast that if one ‘pulls up his boot,’ he can ‘make up his leg’ by going to market early and ‘knock in’ his ‘ten or twelve hog afore breakfast’.|
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 202/2: Pull up my boot (Costermongers’). To make money. When a man prepares for his day’s work, be pulls on and strings up his boots.|
(Irish) to bring to a close.
|Ulysses 362: But Dignam’s put the boots on it.|
|Stephen Hero 247: ‘The first day I came here I saw some bills up about a concert.’ ‘O, that’s off. Father Lohan put the boots on that’ .|