From Middle English pumpe, possibly from Middle Dutch pompe or Middle Low German pumpe. Compare Dutch pompen, German pumpen, and Danish pompe.
The etymology of the term is unclear and disputed. One possibility is that it comes from pomp. Another is that it refers to the sound made by the foot moving inside the shoe when dancing. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that it appeared in the 16th century, and lists its origin as "obscure". It has also been linked to the Dutch pampoesje, possibly borrowed from Javanese pampus, ultimately from Persian پاپوش, borrowed from Arabic بَابُوش.
Modern English dictionary
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