"footwear," early 14c., from O.Fr. bote "boot" (12c.), with corresponding words in Prov. and Sp., of unknown origin, perhaps from a Gmc. source. Originally for riding boots only. The verb meaning "kick" is Amer.Eng. 1877; that of "eject" is from 1880.
"profit, use," O.E. bot "help, relief, advantage; atonement," lit. "a making better," from P.Gmc. *boto (see better). Cf. Ger. Buße "penance, atonement," Goth. botha "advantage." Now mostly in phrase to boot (O.E. to bote).
"start up a computer," 1975, from bootstrap (n.), 1953, "fixed sequence of instructions to load the operating system of a computer," on notion of the first-loaded program pulling itself, and the rest, up by the bootstraps.