tough as old boots
tough as old bootsBRITISH or
tough as nails
If someone is tough as old boots or tough as nails, they have a strong character and do not get upset easily. Barbara is tough as old boots and rules her husband with an iron hand. This man was a very friendly in a large group, but across a negotiating table was just tough as nails.
tough as old bootsvery sturdy or resilient.
Leather, of which boots are traditionally made, is notably strong and resistant to wear and tear. As tough as leather was in fact the earliest version of this phrase, although it has now been superseded by the current form.
1967 Listener This is no sweet old dolly…She is tough as old boots, working for a living.
(as) tough as old ˈboots(informal)
1 (of food) be very tough and difficult to chew: This steak’s as tough as old boots.
2 very strong and able to bear pain, criticism, etc. without complaining or giving up: Don’t worry, she’ll soon recover. She’s tough as old boots.