Posted by Lewis on December 11, 2006
In Reply to: Re: What is the origin of fill one's shoes (idiom)? posted by Smokey Stover on December 10, 2006
: : : What is the origin of fill one's shoes (idiom)?
: : ✪ The problem with searching for this idiom is primarily the fact that one has a variable between the verb and the noun. Fill his shoes? Fill one's shoes? Fill your boots? If you search the Archive with "fill the boots" you will get about as much as with "fill the shoes (of)," since boots and shoes are used pretty interchangeably in this idiom.
: : I'm assuming that Angie doesn't mean something like "fill one's shoes with mud," but rather something like: "I'm sorry to see you leave; no one will be able to fill your shoes," or "No one will be able to fill Jim's boots," or "If she goes, who'll be able to fill her shoes?" In these instances, the message is: when you, he, she or Jim is gone, will his replacement be able to measure up to your, his, her or Jim's abilities? It can be used in the indicative, but this idiom is frequently used with the interrogative mood.
: : ✪ ʂʂ ✪
: If you wanted something like "first use" or first appearance in print, I can't help. Uses like "fill the position" or "walk in someone else's shoes" have their own histories, which probably intersect with "fill someone's shoes," but I have no chronological information.
I have heard 'fill yer boots' as as expression of largesse (particularly with victuals) and I wonder if it is linked to the idea of a person with a big appetite having 'hollow legs'.