the (old) college try

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. © 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.
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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