varsity - team - school

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Haroon

Senior Member
Arabic-Egypt
Hi all,………………..Referring to the following ……"We were both on the same varsity sports team at school, and we spent lots and lots of time together."…….Q: as varsity means : first team, or a university, I could not decide whether the speaker is at school or at university.…..Also, is there a repetition ( varsity - team ) ; should one of them be omitted?…Thanks in advance.
 
  • xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    It means most skilled team (I assume that's what you mean by "first"). Colleges do have varsity squads as well, so I don't think you can rule out either high school or university.

    I don't think that there's a repitition, but sentence structures with "varsity" as a noun are certainly possible.
    "I was on the varsity football team last year."
    "I was on varsity last year."
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Also, if there is a slight difference in age between the two people it would be possible for them both to have been on the varsity team at their school but not at the same time. "We both played varsity basketball at our school" does not automatically mean that they both played on the same team. One might have played one year and then graduated and the other played the following year, for example.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It means most skilled team (I assume that's what you mean by "first"). Colleges do have varsity squads as well, so I don't think you can rule out either high school or university.

    I don't think that there's a repitition, but sentence structures with "varsity" as a noun are certainly possible.
    "I was on the varsity football team last year."
    "I was on varsity last year."
    I'm not sure the BE convention is quite the same, and I can only speak of the language used at Oxford some years ago.

    Certainly varsity as a noun and an adjective are possible, and mean university in each case.

    The first team at Oxford is called the blues team, and the first team squad the blues squad. Someone winning his colours is said to win his blue.

    Thus we wouldn't say I was on the varsity football team last year, but I won a blue last year.

    I was on varsity last year wouldn't mean anything to me.

    If you said you were in the same varsity team, that would simply mean that you were in the same team representing the university, but it would probably be the 3rd or 4th team, because even the second teams in different sports have particular names, Penguins for tennis, Centaurs for soccer, for instance.

    I wouldn't be surprised if many different British universities have many different conventions for this.
     
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