old college try

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

NounEdit

old college try (plural old college tries)

  1. (informal) A vigorous, committed attempt or effort, often in the context of a nearly hopeless situation where failure is expected.
    • 1929, Munsey's Magazine, vol. 96, no. 3, p. 355:
      Those who have seen Ruth make the "old college try" understand that some professionals play with a spiritual fervor which is supposed to be the amateur's prerogative.
    • 1980, T. E. Kalem, "Happy Hangover" (theatre review of Fifth of July), Time, 17 Nov.:
      Reeve gives his role the old college try—fervent amateurism.
    • 2003, Keith Parsons, "Janzen takes two-shot lead in BellSouth Classic," USA Today, 6 April (retrieved 16 Aug. 2009):
      "You know, all I can do is go out there and give it the old college try and play my hardest."

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used in the expression give it the old college try.

See alsoEdit