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Jealous boots

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on December 10, 2007

In Reply to: Jealous boots posted by Diane Novosel on December 10, 2007

: A friend from England would call you "jealous boots" if it appeared that you were jealous or envious of another. What is the history of this expression?
Since the 17th century (my Shorter Oxford gives the earliest recorded use as 1623), "boots" has been used to mean "fellow, person", in expressions such as "sly boots" or "lazy boots". (It doesn't explain why.) All such expressions are now a trifle antiquated, and fairly rare. I had never heard "jealous boots" before (and I am English) until you asked.