from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Intended or adapted to keep a foe at a distance; hence, long; reaching far.
- n. A guard; defense; something to keep a foe at a distance.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
And animals and little children can't read the keep-off signs.
"Looks as if our keep-off signs are working," Tom said with a pleased chuckle when the boys finally surfaced and climbed back aboard the boat.
They are all barefooted; but the nobles never walk a-foot, being carried by men on a seat of some elegance, having a hat made of leaves to keep-off the rain and sun; or else they ride on horseback, having their bare feet in the stirrups.