[Lexicog] Shakesepeare coinage 'to boot'
bolstar1 at YAHOO.COM
Sun Aug 6 13:05:19 UTC 2006
This is to see if anyone can find an earlier use of 'to boot'
(meaning "to one's advantage or profit") than Shakespeare's uses in
Richard III 5.3.301 (Riverside) (approx. 1592-1593) -- "This, and Saint
George to boot!" // and II Henry 3.1.25...29 (Riverside) (approx.
1597-1598) -- "Canst thou, O partial sleep, give then repose...With all
appliances and means to boot,/Deny it to a king?"
William (and Mary) Morris [Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins]
say that the original meaning of 'boot' in 'to boot' -- "advantage" or
"proft" -- has become obsolete now, except in the phrase 'to boot.', but
that it was "commonly" used in Milton's (1608-1674) time. I found it in
studying Shakespeare, but couldn't find it used earlier than Milton
Shakespeare used it punnily in Richard III in recounting all his
preparations and plans for the ensuing battle. As a last "advantage"
King Richard added Saint George's presence as a finale to all his noted
(Funnily, Riverside used the now-archaic meaning of the term
'quibble' in referring to a 'pun' (earlier notation). I quiver to see
if this will be inscribbled into a general inquiry, or scribbled
out-right by the lexicono-scribes for use in my query.
Sincerely, Scott Nelson
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