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1. A college or university whose education focuses on agriculture. I always loved working on our farm growing up, so even though I could have gone to business or law school, I always knew I'd be heading to a cow college.
2. Any small, rural college or university, especially one that is relatively unknown or not well regarded. I'm just getting my first two years out of the way at this cow college before applying to a proper university.
give (something) the (old) college try
To attempt or try something. I gave knitting the old college try, but I just didn't enjoy it. Give it the college try and I think you'll find that it's easier than you think.
slang Prison. If you keep getting into trouble like this, you're going to end up in the Graybar Hotel.
See also: hotel
slang Prison. If you keep getting into trouble like this, you're going to end up going to Graystone College one day.
The average, ordinary, or typical college or university student. (Though the term is gendered, it does not necessarily refer to a man.) You're interested in this stuff because you're a political science major, but Joe College doesn't care two figs about the stuff that happens in politics. It's funny to see my brother, who nearly dropped out of high school and spent so many years going against the grain, become Mr. Joe College all of a sudden.
the (old) college try
An attempt to do something. I gave knitting the old college try, but I just didn't enjoy it. Give it the college try and I think you'll find that it's easier than you think.
work (one's) way through (school)
To work a full- or part-time job in order to pay for one's tuition. "College," "university," etc., can be used instead of "school." Kate is working her way through college, but paying for classes as she's able to afford them. Your father and I both worked our way through university, so I don't see any reason why you can't do the same.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
old college try
a valiant effort. Will made the old college try, but that wasn't enough to get the job done.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
An agricultural college; any small, relatively unknown rural college. For example, He's never published a paper, but he might do all right in some cow college. This term uses cow in the somewhat pejorative sense of "provincial." [c. 1910]
old college try, the
One's best effort, as in Come on, if we give it the old college try we just might be able to cut down this tree . This slangy expression, originally a cheer to urge a team on, dates from the 1930s when college football films were very popular.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
give something the old college tryAMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
If you give something the old college try, you make a great effort to succeed, even if this is not possible. Despite the failure of her last movie, she is still giving acting the old college try.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
ˌwork your way through ˈcollege, etc.have a paid job while you are a student: She had to work her way through law school.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
Graybar Hoteland Graystone College
n. a jail; a prison. The two cops had to spend two years in Graybar Hotel with some of the inmates they had caught over the past few years. How long were you at the old Graystone College?
See also: hotel
See Graybar Hotel
n. a typical or average male college student. Joe College never had a computer or a laser-powered record player in the good old days.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
old college try, (give it) the
Do the best you can, even if you think it’s a hopeless cause. This slangy Americanism dates from the 1930s when college football films became very popular in the United States. The phrase was one of the cheers intended to urge on a team that was falling behind or facing overwhelming odds. Transferred to other endeavors, it came to be used more or less ironically.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
A typical male college student. The phrase came on the scene in the 1930s, usually applied approvingly, but occasionally as a label for a student whom the academic life sheltered from having to hold down a “real job” in the “real world.”
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price