I was a Cambridge blue

English translation: represented Cambridge/Oxford University competing against Oxford/Cambridge University

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:Cambridge/Oxford blue
English translation:represented Cambridge/Oxford University competing against Oxford/Cambridge University
Entered by: Nikki Scott-Despaigne
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13:42 Jan 28, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: I was a Cambridge blue
- Did you know I was a Cambridge blue?
- What in?… You’ve got a customer.

Unfortunately, this is the whole conversation.
They may refer to boxing, so my guess would be that ‘Cambridge’ = he used to be a boxer and represented Cambridge in some competitions, and ‘blue’ stands for the blue corner…
Or does ‘Cambridge blue' have another meaning?
lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
he has boxed for the university
Explanation:
Someone who has been a member of a sporting team at Cambridge (or Oxford) is a Cambridge (or Oxford) blue

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Note added at 2003-01-28 14:02:38 (GMT)
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Chambers dictionary has one of the meanings of \"blue\" as: a present or past representative of Oxford or Harrow (dark), Cambridge or Eton (light blue) in sports.\" As far as I know it can be used to describe a member of any sports team, not just rowing (although Oxford & Cambridge are obviously particularly well known for their rowing teams, whereas boxing for Oxford is not a great claim to fame!)

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Note added at 2003-01-28 14:03:36 (GMT)
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(of course, it\'s because the phrase doesn\'t only apply to rowing that the questioner asks \"What in?\")
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 19:54
Grading comment
Thank you, Armorel, and thank you all for your help. :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +9he has boxed for the university
Armorel Young
5 +3member of a sports team at Cambridge which played against Oxford
Nikki Graham
5 +1student athlete who plays for Oxford/Cambridge against Cambridge/Oxford in a major sport
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
3 +2member of the Cambridge university rowing team
Clair@Lexeme
5rugby union
Hermeneutica


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
he has boxed for the university


Explanation:
Someone who has been a member of a sporting team at Cambridge (or Oxford) is a Cambridge (or Oxford) blue

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-28 14:02:38 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Chambers dictionary has one of the meanings of \"blue\" as: a present or past representative of Oxford or Harrow (dark), Cambridge or Eton (light blue) in sports.\" As far as I know it can be used to describe a member of any sports team, not just rowing (although Oxford & Cambridge are obviously particularly well known for their rowing teams, whereas boxing for Oxford is not a great claim to fame!)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-28 14:03:36 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

(of course, it\'s because the phrase doesn\'t only apply to rowing that the questioner asks \"What in?\")

Armorel Young
Local time: 19:54
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 601
Grading comment
Thank you, Armorel, and thank you all for your help. :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mary Worby: Yes, any sport ...
4 mins

agree  xxxEDLING
7 mins

agree  xxxcmwilliams: top team in any sport
10 mins

agree  TonyTK: any sport, with rugby and rowing being the most prominent (FWIW both Lord Snowdon and actor Hugh Laurie were Cambridge rowing blues)
14 mins

agree  Sarah Ponting: any sport, including boxing
17 mins

agree  Oceane
19 mins

agree  Sheila Hardie
32 mins

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
1 hr

agree  jccantrell
1 hr

neutral  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: He has represented the university (Oxford or Cambridge) in a sporting event against Cmabrindge or Oxford. Specific to Oxbridge, but not sport specific although rowing and rugby are most prominent.
4 hrs

neutral  Hermeneutica: Actually FWIW I had interpreted What in? to mean What in hell .... what the blazes .... that kind of thing but it may of course be the way you say. But then why would he hire him without knowing the answer? Puzzle ...
6 hrs
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
rugby union


Explanation:
See www.sport.ox.ac.uk/varsity/mens-blues-explained.shtml -

For what reason exactly this would be such a recommendation in your context, it is impossible to tell with the info we have ... excellence, strength, discipline, prestige, social standing .... ?

HTH

Dee

Hermeneutica
Switzerland
Local time: 20:54
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 4
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
member of the Cambridge university rowing team


Explanation:
As far as I know this is what a Cambridge blue is, most famous of course for the annual boat race against Oxford university on the Thames.
Do a net search to check it out.

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Note added at 2003-01-28 13:52:54 (GMT)
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could in fact be a member of any Cambridge university sports team as suggested above. depends on the context afterwards.


Clair@Lexeme
France
Local time: 20:54
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxcmwilliams: your last comment is correct - can refer to anyone who is a member of the top team in any sport.
8 mins

agree  Marie Scarano
53 mins
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
member of a sports team at Cambridge which played against Oxford


Explanation:
As mentioned above this refers to playing sport for Cambridge University, but specifically in matches against Oxford University. Not all sports give you "full blue" status. Some "lesser sports" mean that you are only a "half-blue" or even a "quarter blue", and when you lose to Oxford, you are very blue indeed!!!!!

Perhaps the greatest public school-boy sporting hybrid is the Oxford or Cambridge " Blue ". Cambridge and Oxford have a great tradition in competing against one another. The first boat race taking place in 1829. As you would hope the rules governing which tie you can wear is pretty complex. Rowing, Cricket, Rugby, Association Football, Athletics, Hockey and Tennis all get full " Blue " status. The half-blue is reserved for unnamed things. (1st ref)

Blues
Full, half and quarter Blues are awarded upon representing Cambridge University against the Other Place at first team level in a sport. Traditional major sports such as soccer and swimming earn Full Blues. (2nd ref)
(The Other Place refers to Oxford)

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Note added at 2003-01-28 14:49:23 (GMT)
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some more info:
Oxford is supposedly the home of some of the finest minds of each generation. That\'s why many students spend a large portion of their time kicking a ball around, going mindlessly up and down a river in a boat, or running very hard into each other. The number of sports that you can take part in is staggering. Playing for the university against Cambridge earns you a \'blue\', with some of the more obscure \'sports\' garnering only a half-blue or quarter-blue (tiddly-winks is a quarter-blue sport).
http://www.sjc.ox.ac.uk/altprospectus/NoFrameContentOTS.htm


    Reference: http://www.franklyncards.com/one/tie.htm
    Reference: http://bridge.anglia.ac.uk/~systimk/History/Cam/Glossary.Htm...
Nikki Graham
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nikki Scott-Despaigne: Or of an Oxford team against Cambridge. Love the tiddly-winks ref!
23 mins
  -> Actually, the question is asking about a "Cambridge blue", not a "blue"

agree  Amy Williams: I think you of all people should know....:) "The other place" - my word!
27 mins
  -> Well, I wasn't a blue myself, not even a quarter one!

agree  Hermeneutica: I love the bit about what the foremost minds do. If you like detective stories, do revisit Dorothy Sayers' "Gaudy Night" ....
2 hrs
  -> Thank you
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
student athlete who plays for Oxford/Cambridge against Cambridge/Oxford in a major sport


Explanation:
http://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/glossary/

Blue : student athlete who plays for Oxford against Cambridge in a major sport. Only certain sports are awarded a full Blue e.g. rowing.

Note : Aso applies to Cambridge students who represent thier uni against Oxford. It's an Oxbridge thing.



    Reference: http://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/glossary/
Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Local time: 20:54
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 26

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Amy Williams: Quite right. Colleges often hand out "blues grants" to successful sportsmen and women
9 mins
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