Footing

He is on good footing with the world. He stands well with the world. This is a French phrase, Être sur un grand pied dans le monde. “Grand pied” means “large foot,” and the allusion is to the time of Henry VIII., when the rank of a man was designated by the size of his shoe —the higher the rank the larger the shoe. The proverb would be more correctly rendered, “He has a large foot in society.”

To pay your footing.
To give money for drink when you first enter on a trade. Entry money for being allowed to put your foot in the premises occupied by fellow-craftsmen. This word is called foot-ale by ancient writers. (See Garnish.)

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