After The bolter was first published in the U.K., a woman wrote to me from Canada.
The bolter by Frances Osborne gave me a wicked summer weekend read.
Pretty well, I think, for a beginner, remarked Mr. bolter complacently.
And what Captain bolter said he meant: for he was a strong and self-willed man.
They sent for me, an' Mr. bolter gave me a good job with 'er.
He had been a bolter himself when young—had run away from home.
Il faut dire that during all this I had glanced several times at bolter, who seemed profoundly asleep.
"Well, so far as I can see, bolter has not been running away," he said thoughtfully.
It was very evident that if he meant to get away it would have to be on foot—the chief would not part with bolter.
A wealthy Victorian was arrested as a Tasmanian bolter while I was in the colony.
Old English bolt "short, stout arrow with a heavy head;" also "crossbow for throwing bolts," from Proto-Germanic *bultas (cf. Old Norse bolti, Danish bolt, Dutch bout, German Bolzen), perhaps from PIE root *bheld- "to knock, strike" (cf. Lithuanian beldu "I knock," baldas "pole for striking").
Applied since Middle English to other short metal rods (especially those with knobbed ends). From the notion of an arrow's flight comes the lightning bolt (1530s). A bolt of canvas (c.1400) was so called for its shape. Adverbial phrase bolt upright is from late 14c.
from bolt (n.) in its various senses; from a crossbow arrow's quick flight comes the meaning "to spring, to make a quick start" (early 13c.). Via the notion of runaway horses, this came to mean "to leave suddenly" (early 19c.). Meaning "to gulp down food" is from 1794. The meaning "to secure by means of a bolt" is from 1580s. Related: Bolted; bolting.