I’m reading Kipling’s Kim, ch 2, pg 37 says

`Beggars aplenty have I met, and holy men to boot, but never such a yogi nor such a disciple,’ said the woman.

What does boot mean here, is it a verb or a noun and what’s the meaning?


As per Collin's Dictionary, to boot is a phrase and is used for emphasis

You can say to boot to emphasize that you have added something else to something or to a list of things that you have just said.

[formal, emphasis]
He is making money and receiving free advertising to boot!
They have to be thin, attractive and well-dressed to boot.

Though the phrase has other meanings too, I think here, to boot is being used for emphasis only**


to boot vocabulary.com

The adverb to boot is another way to say "as well" or "in addition."; in addition, by way of addition; furthermore.

As in:

You could say that your cat is not only adorable, but clever to boot.

and in:

`Beggars aplenty have I met, and holy men as well, ...


The usage of the phrase 'to boot' is explained by the OED's primary meaning for the word 'boot' :

a. Good: in phrase to boot: ‘to the good’, to advantage, into the bargain, in addition; besides, moreover.

Etymology: Common Germanic: Old English bót (feminine), corresponds to Old Frisian bôte ...

1660 S. Pepys Diary 13 Feb. (1970) I. 54 For two books that I had and 6s. 6d to boot, I had my great book of songs

It seems to me that there is a connection with the word 'booty' :

  1. orig. Plunder, gain, or profit acquired in common and destined to be divided among the winners.

Etymology: The modern as well as the early forms, point to a Middle English long ō


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