Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: like old boots

  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default like old boots

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    I’ll stick to you like old boots. (M. Braddon, "Sir Jasper Tenant")

    They had walked twenty miles so that when we put the meal before them they ate like old boots.

    like old boots = terrifically, fantastically

    V.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Of the 7 examples of 'like old books' in the Google Books Corpus for the 1920s to 1940s (there are none after that), only two are similar to yours:

    .. I had to promise solemnly that there should be no marriage for three years, and that I would stick to my work like old boots, and make a position for myself first."


    ... know what it's been like this last year since I had that row with Dad about poor old Willum. Tom's going to be allowed to go into the Navy where he wants to go, but I'm the eldest and I shall have to stick on the farm like old boots ...


    It appears to mean 'very firmly'

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Some people may refresh their memory having a look at following link:

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/boot

    V.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Some people may refresh their memory having a look at following link:boot - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    Refresh their memory about what? I didn't spot any 'like old boots' there.

  5. #5
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    A soft answer turneth the wrath.

    Do you like the game "blind man's buff"?

    Here is a copy of the second entry of the mentioned above link:

    *tough as an old bootand *tough as old (shoe) leather
    1. [of meat] very tough. (*Also: as ~.) This meat is tough as an old boot. Bob couldn't eat the steak. It was as tough as an old boot.
    2. [of someone] very strong willed. (*Also: as ~.) When Brian was lost in the mountains, his friends did not fear for him; they knew he was tough as leather. My English teacher was as tough as an old boot.
    3. [of someone] not easily moved by feelings such as pity. (*Also: as ~.) She doesn't care. She's as tough as old shoe leather. He was born tough as an old boot and has only grown more rigid.

    I hope you have a notion about the difference between as and like?

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 24-Sep-2011 at 14:10.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,146
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    To me "to be as tough as old boots" (which I'm familiar with) is not the same as "to stick to something like old boots" (which I've never heard).

    "Tough as old boots" doesn't fit with the two examples you quoted in your original post.

  7. #7
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Thank you for your remarks concerning my original posts above.

    The expression in question isn't my coinage. It's crystal clear. I took a crack interpreting it. The question is if I brought home the beckon, i.e. did I make the train or not?

    My old friends are like my old boots, they know exactly who I am and they walk with me when life gets muddy.

    Fortunately there are many other people managing English language giving me undivided support by my tumbling in the dark.

    Usually when using old boots as metaphor or simile the meaning is "pleasantly" or "comfortably".
    Old boots fit to your feet pleasantly and new boots have to be worn a bit before they fit comfortably.

    If you find a pair of boots and wear them in properly, they will form themselves to the shape of your feet. Folk sometimes talk of a pair of walking boots as though they couldn't feel them, because they fitted so closely and were so flexible. So, to stick to someone "like old boots" is to be so close that we are inseparable.


    Vil,

    I have found your questions engrossing.
    First, you have usually tried to find some explanations by yourself, and just ask for the confirmation or verification, or more lore. I can find myself TFDeeing or googling the words or phrases you have posted, and that is not at all bad; I've learned a lot.


    V.
    Last edited by vil; 24-Sep-2011 at 15:14.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    The expression in question isn't my coinage. It's crystal clear. I took a crack at interpreting it. The question is if I brought home the beckon, i.e. did I make the train or not?

    My old friends are like my old boots, they know exactly who I am and they walk with me when life gets muddy.

    Fortunately there are many other people managing English language giving me undivided support by my tumbling in the dark.

    Vil,

    I have found your questions engrossing.
    First, you have usually tried to find some explanations by yourself, and just ask for the confirmation or verification, or more lore. I can find myself TFDeeing or googling the words or phrases you have posted, and that is not at all bad; I've learned a lot.
    I just do not understand the words I have underlined.

  9. #9
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Hi fivejedjon,

    I beg your pardon. I put you in such an awkward situation reading my clumsy writing. I ask for your indulgence.

    Here are a few explanatory words concerning the unclear point in my last writing above.

    bring home the beckon = be successful, accomplish something of value

    Bring home the bacon: Information from Answers.com

    did I make the train or not =

    make the train = make it = make the grade

    there are two possibilities = to sink or swim = make the train or miss the train

    giving me undivided support =

    give somebody one’s undivided support

    tumbling in the dark =…. tumble in the dark = wander in the dark .. = rumbling in the dark

    tumble =

    lore = Accumulated facts, traditions, or beliefs about a particular subject. See synonyms at knowledge

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/lore#ixzz1Yt7wPFz9


    find myself TFDeeing =
    one find one’s beloved
    TFDeeng = rummaging through The Free Dictionary

    V.

  10. #10
    Afit is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Dutch
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Europe
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    173
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: like old boots

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    I put you in such an awkward situation reading my clumsy writing.
    Writing Guide: Dangling Participles

    No offence, Vil, but your attempts at floral style of writing border on the .

    Affected, unnatural, ridiculous. It causes mirth among ordinary people. I would be more careful with the choice of words.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Vocabulary] do his boots
    By maiabulela in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 15-Apr-2011, 10:15
  2. [General] her black go-go boots
    By dilermando in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2008, 14:32
  3. booths and boots
    By jctgf in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 13-May-2008, 22:39
  4. three boots between them assistance
    By dagord in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2007, 00:03
  5. To die with ones boots on
    By gor in forum English Idioms and Sayings
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2005, 05:36

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •