the (old) college try

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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.
See also: college, try
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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.
See also: college, old, try
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: college, old
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"We didn't come up here to give it the old college try. We came up here to win the game and we didn't get it done.
I had another college try, and soon after that I met my current wife, Audrey.
The book can be seen as a college try at a complex process the academy is just starting to think about.
CUTTING EDGE Students at Longbenton Community College try out the table top
The Sharks lost the debate on Russell's goal, the Falcons lost the argument on MacIntyre's goal, but there was no doubt about Irwin's winner, and the Sharks had their second victory in the last nine games, thanks to the old college try.
I gave it the old college try, but realized no amount of detailed explanation was going to work.
Even those who give it the old college try don't benefit from the experience.
TOON BARMY: BT workers Charles Bell and Pamela Hay swapped footy shirts at their offices on Newcastle Quayside; TAKE SPLAT: Falcons player Geoff Parling sat in a bath of custard at the U Salon, Gosforth, to raise money for Comic Relief; GREAT EFFORT: Students at South Tyneside College try to break the world record for the most people wearing red noses in one place; WET AND WILD: Pupils of West Denton Primary washing the Chronicle photographer's car for red nose day.; HEAD START: left, Alicia Stewart, 17, of Rye Hill has her hair done at Zanders Hair Design; right, staff at Sainsbury's were waxing their legs for Comic Relief.
So, the next time you set eyes on a gorgeous bombshell and decide that, after all, you're wearing your lucky socks, you should offer her a drink and give it the old college try ...
Reading Ghost Hunters, it's hard not to reserve some admiration for the handful of academics who gave it the old college try." MARK ATHITAKIS
Opera in Concert offered a production of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda that was a good college try at bel canto style.
A small, Knight Ridder paper in Penn State's backyard gives it the old college try in bid for new readers
Perhaps not, but we have to give it the old college try. To date, we have not been able to convince younger family members of the importance of interviewing the elders of their immediate family, and we're racing to beat the clock!
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