old school

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See also: old-school and oldschool



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Etymology 1[edit]

Almost certainly a shortening of "the old school of thinking", "an old school of thinking", "an old school of thought" or some similar phrase.


the old school

  1. (informal, idiomatic) A style, way of thinking, or method for accomplishing a task that was employed in a former era, remembered either for its inferiority to the current method, or for its time-honored superiority over the new way.
    Antonym: new school
    Family experts are advocating a change away from the old school, advising parents not to medicate behavioral problems.
    My mom's a good baker because she's of the old school. She'd never buy ready-made cookie dough.
    • 1918 [1915], Thomas Burke, Nights in London[1], New York: Henry Holt and Company:
      Pathetic as its passing is, one cannot honestly regret the old school. I was looking last night at the programme of my very first hall, and received a terrible shock to my time-sense. Where are the snows of yesteryear? Where are the entertainers of 1895?

Etymology 2[edit]

Originally the attributive form of the above noun phrase.


old school (comparative more old school, superlative most old school)

  1. (informal, idiomatic) Characteristic of a style, outlook, or method employed in a former era, remembered either as inferior to the current style, or alternately, remembered nostalgically as superior or preferable to the new style, the older denoting something that would be considered out of date or out of fashion to some, but as such, is considered by others as cool and hip.
    Synonym: (US slang) O.G.
    Antonym: new school
    That teacher's old school methods aren't effective, they're just annoying.
    Man, I love that jacket; it's so old school.
Alternative forms[edit]
  • German: oldschool