Bootless Errand

An unprofitable or futile message. The Saxon bot means “reparation”- “overplus to profit”; as “I will give you that to boot”; “what boots it me?” (what does it profit me?).

I sent him
Bootless home and weather-beaten back.

Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., iii. 1.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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