Attested from mid-16th century. Via Middle Low German stevel or Danish støvle, from Italian stivale (“a boot”), from Old French estival, of ultimate Latin uncertain origin; altered by association with stíga (“to step”).
Belief that it derives from the Icelandic verb stíga (“to step”) and vél (“a machine”) similar to borvél (“a drill; literally a drilling machine”), eldavél (“a cooking stove; literally a cooking machine”) and þvottavél (“washing machine”) is a folk etymology. This may be inferred from the fact that stígvél is a neuter noun while vél and the other compounds listed are feminine nouns.
stígvél n (genitive singular stígvéls, nominative plural stígvél)
- a boot