E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
An arrow, a shaft (Anglo-Saxon, bolta; Danish, bolt; Greek, ballo, to cast; Latin, pello, to drive). A door bolt is a shaft of wood or iron, which may be shot or driven forward to secure a door. A thunderbolt is an hypothetical shaft cast from the elouds; an aerolite. Cupids bolt is Cupids arrow.
The fools bolt is soon spent. A foolish archer shoots all his arrows so heedlessly that he leaves himself no resources in case of need.
I must bolt. Be off like an arrow.
To bolt food. To swallow it quickly without waiting to chew it.
To bolt out the truth. To blurt it out; also To bolt out, to exclude or shut out by bolting the door.
To bolt. To sift, as flour is bolted. This has a different derivation to the above (Low Latin, bult-ella, a boulter, from an Old French word for coarse cloth).