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Zippin' up my boots
Goin' back to my roots

--"Going Back to My Roots" (1977) by Lamont Dozier

"Every woman adores a Fascist, / The boot in the face, the brute / Brute heart of a brute like you" --"Daddy" (1965) by Sylvia Plath

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A boot is a type of shoe that covers at least the foot and the ankle and sometimes extends up to the knee or even the hip. Most have a heel that is clearly distinguishable from the rest of the sole, even if the two are made of one piece. Traditionally made of leather or rubber, modern boots are made from a variety of materials.

Hi-top athletic shoes are generally not considered boots, even though they do cover the ankle, primarily due to the absence of a distinct heel.

Boots in idiom

  • Boots, particularly those worn as protective footwear by workers (work boots) have a reputation for being as hard-wearing as their owners, hence the commonly used simile "tough as old boots".
  • A long established the sole detached, giving the impression of an open mouth.
  • Tall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a tool to provide better leverage in getting the boots on. A German legend about a boy lifting himself by his bootstraps into the air, allowing him to fly, has led to the word's metaphorical use in many different contexts, such as "to pull yourself up by your bootstraps."
  • To "die with one's boots on" means to die from violence as opposed to from natural causes (to "die in bed"); hence Boot Hill as a popular name for Wild West cemeteries.
  • Boot camp a colloquial term for the initial training of new recruits enlisting in a military organization.
  • Stormtroopers, skinheads, and other agents of authority or political strongarm tactics are typically referred to by their detractors as "jackbooted thugs," a reference to the tall riding or military-style boot of the Nazi uniform. Authoritarian rule, either by hostile military forces, or by groups of armed intimidators, is imposed by "jackboot tactics."
  • To "give someone the boot" means to kick them out (of a job, a club, etc.), either literally or figuratively.
  • To "put the boot off" someone's chin.
  • "The boot is on the other foot now" means that a situation has become reversed -- a previous victor is now losing, for example.
  • "Boot" also became a command in early computing, to mean starting up the computer or putting a program into the memory. It is still used today. It arose as short for "pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps".
  • Wearing "seven-league boots" references a classic children's fairy tale and indicates that a person or company can cover great distances, figuratively or literally, in a single stride.
  • Boots may also be use as a beer drinking device which one will fill up the boot and drink from it. The most recent notable boot use in the 2006 movie Beerfest using a glass yard with a boot shaped bulb at the end known as "Das Boot", a reference to the 1981 movie, Das Boot.
  • To "shake in one's boots" means to be very frightened, and is mostly used sarcastically.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Boot" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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