à propos de bottes

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Alternative forms[edit]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌæ pɹəˈpəʊ də bɔt(s)/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæ pɹəˈpoʊ də bɔt(s)/


Borrowing from French à propos de bottes; literally “on the subject of boots”.


à propos de bottes

  1. (dated or archaic) Apropos of nothing; without connection to anything.
    • 1850 October, "Pisistratus Caxton" (pseudonym of Edward Bulwer Lytton), My Novel; or, Varieties in English Life, Chapter X, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 68, Number 420, William Blackwood & Sons, page 403:
      In fact, the renovated appearance of this monster—à propos de bottes, as one may say—had already excited considerable sensation among the population of Hazeldean.
    • 1892 May 14, author not named, Essence of Parliament — Extracted from the Diary of Toby, M.P., in Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 102, 2005 Gutenberg edition,
      Suddenly jumped up; shook fist at back of ASQUITH's unoffending head, and, à propos de bottes, "wanted to know about the swindling companies and their shareholders?"
    • 1907, Porter Lander MacClintock, Literature in the Elementary School, 2011 Gutenberg edition,
      Of course, it is rather characteristic of the folk-mind, as of the child-mind, to heap up incidents à propos de bottes; but as this is one of the characteristics to be corrected in the child by his training in literature, so it is one of the faults which should exclude a fairy-tale from his curriculum.
    • 1921, Lytton Strachey, Queen Victoria, Harcourt, Brace and Company, page 190:
      Moody, restless, and unhappy, he wandered like a ghost about the town, bursting into soliloquies in public places, or asking odd questions, suddenly, à propos de bottes.
  2. (dated or archaic) Unrelatedly, by the way, by the by, apropos of nothing; used to indicate that one is changing the subject.