Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


If poor Troubadour had not cast a shoe, we should not have had this trouble.

Where it had pleased his pride to think that he had given her up, he found that the shoe was on the other foot.

Chip emptied his lungs of smoke, and turned the shoe in his hands.

"I see," said Peter, deeply interested in the toe of his shoe.

Peter set his jaws and continued his meditations on shoe leather.

Here is something like the footstep of one who has worn a shoe; can it be that of our friend?

It will not prevent you from wearing your shoe and stocking.

Max asked, as he examined the plain track of the thief's shoe.

He told a lie about me, an' lost me my place in the shoe shop.

Tell monsieur what kind of shoe it is, and the maker's name.


Old English scoh "shoe," from Proto-Germanic *skokhaz (cf. Old Norse skor, Danish and Swedish sko, Old Frisian skoch, Old Saxon skoh, Middle Dutch scoe, Dutch schoen, Old High German scuoh, German Schuh, Gothic skoh). No known cognates outside Germanic, unless it somehow is connected with PIE root *skeu- "cover" (cf. second element in Latin ob-scurus).

Old plural form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. Distinction between shoe and boot (n.) is attested from c.1400. To stand in someone's shoes "see things from his or her point of view" is attested from 1767. Old shoe as a type of something worthless is attested from late 14c.

Shoes tied to the fender of a newlywed couple's car preserves the old custom (mentioned from 1540s) of throwing an old shoe at or after someone to wish them luck. Perhaps the association is with dirtiness, on the "muck is luck" theory.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.