Although it is claimed to be a Basque variant of Savate, it is unclear whether the sport truly originates in the Basque Country. Its practitioners may have borrowed, used and coined a number of Basque terms such as zipotedun (one who has zipote), zipotelari (a zipotero), lamiak and sugaar (names for kicks), makila (a Basque walking stick used in some Basque dances and sports), and others.
The name zipote is described by practitioners as being from the Basque, meaning shoe. The word zapata in Basque is a loanword from Spanish. The Spanish word itself, and the French word savate, are loans from Arabic sabbat, via Italian ciabatta or old Occitan sabata. There is no evidence that the word zipote or zipota has a meaning of "shoe" or a martial art in Basque.
Another possible derivation for zipote is the Spanish word, cipote.