an Ivy, a plant or a kid?

hvj2e43

Member
Hong Kong - Cantonese
I have seen this setence but do not know what it means:
We have heard from thousands of parents who have wondered: can you get my kid into an Ivy?
Do "Ivy" not mean a plant? How can a kid turn into a plant, or is it in the figurative sense (climbing up)? I would like to have some more examples. Thank you!
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    From Wiki: The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group. The eight institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. The term Ivy League also has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

    Get my kid into an Ivy(-League school).

    Just as conjecture, these are old, venerable schools and I imagine they have some buildings whose walls are covered in ivy.
     

    indigofire1230

    Member
    English - Canada (CaE)
    I believe what this sentence is referring to is actually Ivy League schools, which are prestigious schools in the United States, like Harvard University, and Yale University, etc. I believe there are 8 of them.

    The sentence means: Can you get my kid into an Ivy League school? (a prestigious school?)
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    Just as conjecture, these are old, venerable schools and I imagine they have some buildings whose walls are covered in ivy.
    Yes, they do.

    Although I suppose the eight member institutions don't like it, the informal term "an Ivy" might also include other selective or competitive (to get into) schools with high academic reputations. Stanford University "outranks" many of the "Ivy League" schools in measures of selectivity and academic prestige. "An Ivy" to some people might include only some of the members of the athletic conference, particularly Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities.

    So it's a loose term except when discussing the sports conference. The "Ivy" representative just lost in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
     

    sandpiperlily

    Senior Member
    So it's a loose term except when discussing the sports conference.
    Perhaps when a parent says "I want my kid to go to an Ivy," they really just mean any prestigious school, including Stanford, MIT, Wash U, etc. But the Ivy League has a very clear and specific meaning, which only includes eight schools. You wouldn't say "My son goes to an Ivy" if he goes to Stanford, and you wouldn't say "my daughter goes to one of the Seven Sisters" if she goes to Simmons.
     
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