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May 29, 2019
This week’s theme
Words originating in shoes

This week’s words
sabotage
roughshod
old shoe
vamp
shoehorn

old shoe
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

old shoe

PRONUNCIATION:
(old shoo)

MEANING:
noun: Something or someone comfortably familiar, especially in an unpretentious manner.

ETYMOLOGY:
Alluding to the familiar comfort of an old pair of shoes. Earliest documented use: 1386.

NOTES:
The idiom “old shoe” has traveled around the block in the English language a few times. In the beginning it meant something worthless. Then there was this superstition of throwing shoes after a person leaving on a trip. This developed into the idiom old shoe meaning good luck. Finally, there’s something to be said about the comfort of stepping into an old pair of shoes (compared to breaking in a new pair) that resulted in the current meaning of the term.

USAGE:
“‘[Amir] is an old shoe that we’ve come to depend on, and take for granted,’ Coach Casey said.”
Raps Lose in OT to Heat; Waterloo Region Record (Kitchener, Canada); Jan 24, 2013.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. -John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (29 May 1917-1963)

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