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Boot (torture)

From Academic Kids

This article is about the boot as a torture instrument. For other uses, see Boot (disambiguation)

As an instrument of torture and interrogation in various places and eras, many different types of "boot" have been made to cause damage and pain to the feet.

One type was made of four pieces of narrow board nailed together, of a competent length to fit the leg. The leg being placed therein, wedges were inserted and hammered in, causing horrible lacerations and shattering the bones. This continued until the sufferer confessed or fainted.

Another variant, sometimes called the foot press, consisted of a pair of horizontal iron plates—often lined inside with many sharp spikes—tightened around the foot by means of a crank mechanism to lacerate the flesh and crush the bones of the foot. It was not unheard of to heat the instrument red-hot before its application to the naked foot.

There was also another variant, sometimes called a Spanish boot, consisting of a metal boot where the leg was inserted. Then the boot could be heated over hot coals, or boiling tar or liquid metals could be poured in. In medieval times, the boot was one of the most feared methods of torture.

All your empirics could never do the like cure upon the gout as the rack in England or your Scotch boots. —Marston: The Malcontent.

In The Simpsons episode 2F13, Bart vs. Australia, the boot is jokingly used by the people of Australia as a mild form of torture - as a kick in the buttocks with an oversized boot. From the episode in question:

"Disparaging the boot is a bootable offense. It's one of their proudest traditions." - Evan Conover

From E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898

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