Etymology
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boot (n.1)

"covering for the foot and lower leg," early 14c., from Old French bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Provençal, Spanish, and Medieval Latin, all of unknown origin, perhaps from a Germanic source. Originally of riding boots only.

From c. 1600 as "fixed external step of a coach." This later was extended to "low outside compartment used for stowing luggage" (1781) and hence the transferred use, of motor vehicles, in Britain, where American English has trunk (n.1).

Boot-black "person who shines boots and shoes" is from 1817; boot-jack "implement to hold a boot by the heel while the foot is drawn from it" is from 1793. Boot Hill, U.S. frontier slang for "cemetery" (1893, in a Texas panhandle context) probably is an allusion to dying with one's boots on. An old Dorsetshire word for "half-boots" was skilty-boots [Halliwell, Wright].

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boot (n.2)

"profit, use," Old English bot "help, relief, advantage; atonement," literally "a making better," from Proto-Germanic *boto (see better (adj.)). Compare Old Frisian bote "fine, penalty, penance, compensation," German Buße "penance, atonement," Gothic botha "advantage, usefulness, profit." Now mostly in phrase to boot (Old English to bote), indicating something thrown in by one of the parties to a bargain as an additional consideration.

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boot (v.2)
1975, transitive, "start up (a computer) by causing an operating system to load in the memory," 1975, from bootstrap (v.), a 1958 derived verb from bootstrap (n.) in the computer sense "fixed sequence of instructions to load the operating system of a computer" (1953). This is from the notion of the first-loaded program pulling itself (and the rest) up by the bootstrap, an old expression for "better oneself by rigorous, unaided effort." Intransitive, of a computer operating system, from 1983. Related: Booted; booting.
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boot (v.1)
"to kick, drive by kicking," 1877, American English, from boot (n.1). Earlier "to beat with a boot" (a military punishment), 1802. Generalized sense of "eject, kick (out)" is from 1880. To give (someone) the boot "dismiss, kick out" is from 1888. Related: Booted; booting.
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boot-licker (n.)
also bootlicker, "toady, servile follower," 1846, from boot (n.1) + agent noun from lick (v.). Foot-licker in the same sense is from 1610s.
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boot camp (n.)
"training station for recruits," by 1941, U.S. Marines slang, said to be from boot (n.1) as slang for "recruit," which is attested by 1915 and supposedly dates from the Spanish-American War and is a synecdoche from boots "leggings worn by U.S. sailors."
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bootless (adj.1)
"lacking boots," late 14c., from boot (n.1) + -less.
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reboot (v.)

"shut down and restart" (a computer or computer program), 1981, from re- "again" + boot (v.2) in the computer sense. Related: Rebooted; rebooting.

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bootless (adj.2)
"without advantage, unprofitable," late Old English botleas "unpardonable, not to be atoned for, without help or remedy," from boot (n.2) + -less. Meaning "useless, unprofitable" is from early 15c.
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jackboot (n.)
also jack-boot, 1680s, type of large, strong over-the-knee cavalry boot of 17c.-18c., later a type worn by German military and para-military units in the Nazi period. From jack (n.), though the exact sense here is unclear + boot (n.1). Figurative of military oppression since 1768. Related: Jackbooted.
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