Posted by Nita on March 08, 2002
In Reply to: "......to boot." posted by masakim on March 07, 2002
: : I was reading a "Remeber When" story and came across an interesting phrase. I cut the portion and pasted it here to best describe how it was used.
: : "Remeber when you got your windshield
cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped without asking, all for free, every time,
and, you didn't pay for air, and you
: : got trading stamps to boot."
: : Anyone know the "to boot" origin? Thanks.
: boot, to
: Richard Cole writes:
: Whence "to boot," in the sense of "in addition to the foregoing," or "besides the above"?
: E.g.: "I got my shoes polished and bought new laces to boot."
: First let's change your sample sentence to something less confusing: "I got a tank of gas and had my windows washed to boot."
: Now, we can all shout together what you know the explanation is going to be: "There are several different words boot." The one in "to boot" is no relation to the one referring a piece of footwear, which is why I suggested changing your example.
: The most common boot in English is certainly the one whose main sense is 'a covering for the foot that reaches to the ankle or higher'. This boot is a fourteenth-century borrowing from Middle French; the ultimate origin is uncertain.
: The boot in your question is pretty much the only surviving sense of a once prominent word. Some archaic or obsolete senses are 'advantage; profit; use' ("O spare they happy daies, and them apply/To better boot"--Spenser, Faerie Queen); 'something given in a sale or exchange to equalize the value of the exchange' (now only used in dialect, in America found chiefly in the south); and 'deliverance from evil or danger' (often in the phrase boot of bale 'relief from woe').
: The phrase to boot uses this word, in a sense like 'to the good; to advantage', and hence 'in addition; besides; moreover'. This particular boot is from Old English, and is related to better.
: One other boot is an archaic word for 'booty; spoil; plunder', probably from the boot above influenced by booty, and another is 'the act of booting a computer', ultimately a shortening of bootstrap.
: From The Mavens' Word of the Day (Sep 28, 1998)
>>so then is a boot a boon?