set foot » step foot

Classification: English – questionable

Spotted in the wild:

[2005/11/04, CW: Added the quote from Bob Dylan’s autobiography, which was contributed by Ross Howard in the Usenet group alt.usage.english.]

[BZ: Marked questionable, as participants in the a.u.e thread report that “step foot in/on” is an unremarkable idiom in a number of English dialects. It is also attested in the Oxford English Dictionary back to the 19th century:

1864 R. B. KIMBALL Was he Successful? II. i. 182 When Hiram stepped foot in the metropolis.
1880 S. G. W. BENJAMIN Troy I. iv. 26 (Funk) Calchas announced that the first man who stepped foot on the enemy’s soil was doomed at once to die.


| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/16 |

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