[General] like old boots

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vil

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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.
 

5jj

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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 [FONT=&quot]like old boots[/FONT], 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 [FONT=&quot]like old boots[/FONT] ...


It appears to mean 'very firmly'
 

vil

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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.
 
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emsr2d2

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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.
 

vil

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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.
 
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5jj

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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.
 

vil

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[FONT=&quot]Hi [/FONT]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.
 

Afit

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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
facepalm%20picard.jpg
.

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

emsr2d2

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I assumed that "bring home the beckon" was meant to say "bring home the bacon" but that seemed an unlikely mistake for someone of your linguistic calibre to make.
 

Tdol

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I'm going to put this thread to bed. Could I just remind people of the excellent Nick Lowe song made popular by Elvis Costello and suggest that it might also apply to misunderstandings.
 
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