pull (oneself) up by (one's) (own) bootstraps

(redirected from pull herself up by her bootstraps)

pull (oneself) up by (one's) (own) bootstraps

To put forth effort to improve one's life or circumstances, rather than relying on others. After I declared bankruptcy, I had to pull myself up by my bootstraps and rebuild my financial standing. I know you're heartbroken by this breakup, but you just have to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and get back out there into the dating scene.
See also: bootstrap, by, pull, up

pull oneself up by the bootstraps

Succeed by one's own efforts, as in She was homeless for nearly two years, but she managed to pull herself up by the bootstraps. This expression alludes to pulling on high boots by means of the straps or loops attached to them at the top. [Early 1900s]
See also: bootstrap, by, pull, up

pull yourself up by your bootstraps

If someone pulls themselves up by their bootstraps, they improve their situation by their own efforts. Note: Bootstraps are straps attached to a boot which you use for pulling it on. It was his ability to pull himself up by his bootstraps which appealed to his boss. Note: Verbs such as haul, pick and lift are sometimes used instead of pull. Lift yourself up by the bootstraps, young fellow. Make yourself upwardly mobile.
See also: bootstrap, by, pull, up

pull (or drag) yourself up by your own bootstraps

improve your position by your own efforts.
A bootstrap is sometimes sewn into the back of boots to help with pulling them on. This idiom has given rise to the computing term bootstrapping , meaning the process of loading a program into a computer by means of a few initial instructions which enable the introduction of the rest of the program from an input device. We now refer to the process of starting a computer as booting or booting up .
See also: bootstrap, by, own, pull, up

drag/pull yourself up by your (own) ˈbootstraps

(informal) improve your situation yourself, without help from other people: Nobody helped her get where she is today — she pulled herself up by her own bootstraps.
See also: bootstrap, by, drag, pull, up

pull yourself up by your bootstraps

To succeed through hard work. Before zippers made getting into tall boots less of a chore, such footwear had leather attachments by which the wearer would pull them on (Western boots and some English riding dress boots still have them). Trying to raise yourself off the ground by pulling on your bootstraps sounds impossible . . . and it is (don't try it—you'll throw out your back). Therefore to pull yourself up by your bootstraps is to achieve your goals through as much hard work as levitating yourself would take.
See also: bootstrap, by, pull, up