Word Origin & History
O.E. scoh "shoe," from P.Gmc. *skokhaz (cf. O.N. skor, Dan., Swed. sko, O.Fris. skoch, O.S. skoh, M.Du. scoe, Du. schoen, O.H.G. scuoh, Ger. Schuh, Goth. skoh). No known cognates outside Gmc., unless it somehow is connected with PIE base *skeu- "cover" (cf. second element in L. ob-scurus). Old plural
form shoon lasted until 16c. Meaning "metal plate to protect a horse's hoof" is attested from late 14c. The verb is from O.E. scogan. Distinction between shoe and boot
is attested from c.1400. Shoeshine is from 1911. Shoelace is attested from 1640s. Shoestring is from 1610s; as figurative for "a small amount" it is recorded from 1882; as a type of necktie, from 1903. Shoebox is attested from 1860; as a type of building, from 1968. 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.