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To boot

The idiom to boot, meaning in addition or besides, has nothing to do with footwear. This sense of boot is left over from the Old English bt and Middle English bote, where the word meant an advantage or something included in a bargain, and the phrase to boot has been in common usage since the time of Old English.

Examples


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For those of us who went to regular schools (in Malaysia, to boot), English boarding schools seemed (and still seem) exotic and glamorous. [The Places You Will Go]

It isn’t actually addressing a real problem, won’t solve the non-problem it’s addressed at and risks a trade war to boot. [Forbes]

And she lives in both France and New York City and is a translator and a solo zither concertist, to boot. [Between the Lines]

He was someone who had embraced the American dream; he practically had the mid-Atlantic accent to boot. [Telegraph]

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Comments

  1. Can “to boot” be used after the semicolon, rather than at the end of the sentence? I.e., would it be grammatically correct to say,

    “He was someone who had embraced the American dream; to boot, he practically had the mid-Atlantic accent.”

    or

    “She loved reading the cases, learning about how the law works and how environmental law draws from several other areas of knowledge using existing content as a tool; to boot, she maintained the highest grade in the class.”

    ?

    Thanks! :)

    • Grammarist says:

      Those look good to us. “To boot” can go anywhere “in addition” or “besides” would work grammatically.

      • jillscherb7 says:

        Maybe so, but to editors who work with sound and usage, as well as generally agreed-upon “rules” of language and usage, it just doesn’t sound right at the beginning, does it? Say it out loud.

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