Donald Smith dss-lfs at
Mon Mar 24 12:56:42 PST 2003

Joerg W Mittag wrote:
> 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.
> jwm

It was called bootstrapping (now booting) from the beginning. Used to 
have to toggle in a small loader program then hit the start button.

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