One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Originally: a measure of capacity for liquid, used especially in Spain and Portugal and varying according to locality and the nature of the contents. In later use: a large cask for wine or other liquids, the capacity of which varies according to the contents and locality.
2A small wine flask made of leather or goatskin which may be slung over the shoulder or chest, having a narrow nozzle from which wine is squirted directly into the mouth.
A boot, especially for riding. Also (in plural): leather leggings or similar protective coverings for the legs.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Ephraim Chambers (?1680–1740), encyclopaedist. Partly from Spanish bota, and partly from Portuguese bota<br>early 19th century. From Spanish bota.
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