Joerg W Mittag Joerg.Mittag at Web.De
Mon Mar 24 09:32:30 PST 2003

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

Oh, we have a similar phrase in German, though it's more painful (-:
It's "sich am eigenen Schopf aus dem Sumpf ziehen" or "pull yourself
out of the swamp by your own hair". I searched for a french
translation on the 'net but couldn't find one.

BTW: does anyone know what "bootstrapping" or "booting" is called on
non-PCs? I know that on larger machines it's called "IPL" (initial
program load), but I suspect there's tons of other terms.


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