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Q: Accounting word origins ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Accounting word origins
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: bgsu0077-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 03 Oct 2006 17:32 PDT
Expires: 02 Nov 2006 16:32 PST
Question ID: 770602
Can you tell me the origin of the word "boot" when referring to
"property other than stock" in an accounting transaction?  Country of
origin,original people to use it,  and time period when it originated
would be preferred.  Thanks.
Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 03 Oct 2006 20:12 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello bgsu0077,

As you know, this sense of "boot" means property transferred *in
addition* to an exchange of like properties.

"Glossary A-M" [scroll down to "boot"]
Small Business Taxes & Management

"Frequently Asked Questions About 1031 Exchanges: 21. What is Boot?"
Xchange Solutions, Inc

"Boot" has been used in much the same way since the early days of
English.  (Even in Beowulf, it had the meaning of "remedy.")  Early
meanings of "boot" included "benefit, compensation."

"50 Words with Multiple Meanings: boot"
The Brain Rummager

"To boot" can be traced back to the year 1000, meaning among other
things "in addition."

Margaret Marks, online posting, "Re: [Lexicog] Shakesepeare coinage
'to boot'" (6 Aug 2006)
The Linguist List: Archives of Lexicography List

"Issue of September 14, 2000" ["To boot, perchance to glean", near bottom of page]
The Word Detective

It appears that by the 17th century, "boot" had the specific meaning
of other property in an exchange.  The excerpt from the Oxford English
Dictionary (OED) quoted by Margaret Marks notes an example from 1660:
"For two books that I had and 6s. 6d. [6 shillings, 6 pence] to boot I
had my great book of songs."  The OED (A-B, p. 995) gives another
quote from 1593 that appears to have a closely-similar meaning: "Were
all the world offered to make a change, yet the boote were too small."

Shakespeare also seems to have had a similar meaning in mind: "I'll
give you boot, I'll give you three for one"; "And I will boot thee
with what gift beside Thy modesty can beg."

The ARTFL Project: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)"

For more about the etymology of "boot," see:

Online Etymology Dictionary

- justaskscott

Search strategy --

Searched on Google for various combinations of these terms:

"oxford english"
"to boot"
[various quotes from OED]

[I also consulted a print copy of the first edition of the OED.]

Request for Answer Clarification by bgsu0077-ga on 04 Oct 2006 22:11 PDT
so middle-low you agree that 1000 is the right time
period?  Thanks a lot!

Clarification of Answer by justaskscott-ga on 04 Oct 2006 23:15 PDT
Middle Low German was spoken from about 1100 to 1400.

"The Middle Low German Language"
The Linguist List

But Old English, to which The Word Detective (cited in my answer)
refers for the origin of "to boot," was spoken from about 700 to 1100.

"The Old English Language"
The Linguist List

Accordingly, both the OED (in the posting by Margaret Marks) and The
Word Detective indicate the year 1000 as the approximate time of
origin for the meaning "in addition."
bgsu0077-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
It was helpful..although the researchers were not positive about their
answer which would have been nice.

Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
From: jeffsmith-ga on 04 Oct 2006 00:13 PDT
Cf. also Swedish byter, "to exchange", "to change".
Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
From: myoarin-ga on 04 Oct 2006 02:28 PDT
Jeff has got a point.  Here are English translations for the
equivalent Norwegian word:  bytte:

TriTrans Search Result

You are here: >Main Menu >Search Result: bytte
# English:
	booty, commute, exchange, interchange, loot, prey, replace, swap, swapping, switch

# Norwegian:

If the expression "to boot" can be traced back to the year 1000, it
could very have a Norse/Viking root.
Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
From: justaskscott-ga on 04 Oct 2006 07:43 PDT
According to the Online Etyomology Dictionary, the word "booty"
("plunder, gain, profit") comes ultimately from Middle Low German
"bute", meaning "exchange."  (The site also indicates that "booty" was
influenced in form and sense by "boot.")

Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
From: myoarin-ga on 04 Oct 2006 07:55 PDT
Fair enough, Middle Low German and Norwegian and Swedish are all
related, and the meanings are consistent.
Subject: Re: Accounting word origins
From: jeffsmith-ga on 04 Oct 2006 13:27 PDT
A parallel development in Greek is amoibaios "mutual" giving rise to
amoibe "wages". So New Latin from Gk. amoeba, lit. "changeling". The
semantic development of Eng. booty and G. Beute, (O?)N bytte is then


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