also boot-strap, loss or loop at the back of the top a males's boot, which the user hooked a finger right through to pull the shoes on, 1870, from boot (n.) + band (n.). Circa 1900, to pull (oneself) up by (one's) bootstraps ended up being used figuratively of an impossible task (Among the "practical questions" after section certainly one of Steele's "desirable Physics" schoolbook (1888) is, "30. Why can not a person lift himself by pulling upon their boot-straps?"). By 1916 its meaning expanded to include "better yourself by thorough, unaided energy." The meaning "fixed sequence of directions to load the os of a pc" (1953) is from the thought associated with first-loaded system pulling it self, and sleep, up because of the bootstrap.
help oneself, usually through improvised means
- a strap that is looped and sewn towards top of a boot for pulling it on