Bootstrap (was Re: possible bug in pure lfs)

James Spinks jspinks at
Mon Mar 24 07:19:41 PST 2003

Quoting Axel <axel.azerty at>:

> Nothing to deal with that, but can someone give me a french word for
> "bootstrap" ?
> I m not so bad in english but I can' t figure out what mean this
> bootstrap.
> So, is there a french-speaking guy or someone who could give me an
> explanation for this word?

Probably not to be honest.  It is a shortened form of an english language
phrase which was 'pull yourself up by your own boot straps'.  It was
supposed to signify the futility of trying to get yourself out of something
by leveraging against yourself (try to imagine somebody trying to lift
themselves out of quicksand by lifting up their own shoes).

In this context though, it really just means that the compiler is trying to
build a compiler.  For that though, it really needs a compiler (which of
course is the objective).

It's probably though, just one of those things that makes little sense in
english and even less in any other language... ;-)

James Spinks
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