give (something) the (old) college try(redirected from giving the college try)
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, 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
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