This Boots wasn’t made for walking


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Here’s quite a silly question from Joe in Edinburgh:

Answer me this: why the fuck doesn’t the chemist Boots actually sell boots or other types of shoe?

What a very literal-minded man you are, Joe from Edinburgh. Boots is named after its founder, John Boot, not after its contents; nowadays, most shops don’t sell what their names suggest. Waterstones does not sell water or stones; New Look certainly does not purvey Dior’s New Look; and Paperchase would struggle to survive in today’s economic climate if all it sold were paper dolls of Angela Chase.

By your reasoning, Boots ought to be called ‘Medicine, makeup, skincare, contraceptives, pasta salad, and small electrical goods’; this unwieldy title would not only exhaust sign-writers, but furthermore would fail to distinguish Boots from its archrival Superdrug (which similarly seems not to sell super drugs, unless we’re just not using the right code words at the till).

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