Fwd: "White Shoe" & Yale University

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Feb 11 00:42:17 UTC 2000

Barry Popik writes,
>    "White shoe" was the subject of a William Safire column on 11-9-97.
>See that and the 11-30-97 responses on your computer databases. (I'll save
>space here.)
>    I found the following in my ESQUIRE 1950s drinks search.  Taken
>together >with my etymologies of "Ivy League," the "Yale Cocktail," and,
>of course, "hot >dog," it's all a plot to get my niece into Yale.

Good luck, but I hope she's not just applying for the shoe hierarchy.  If
it still exists, it's very underground.  But maybe THAT's what Ed Sullivan
meant all those years when he promised us he had a "rilly good shoe" every
Sunday night...


>    From ESQUIRE, September 1953, pg. 59:
>_America's premier student of snobs and brows peers through the ivied
>windows at hallowed precincts and their new social hierarchy of White
>Shoe, Brown Shoe, Black Shoe_
>(...) Shoe
>     At Yale there is a system for pigeonholing the members of the college
>community which is based on the word "shoe."  Shoe bears some relation to
>the word chic, and when you say that a fellow is "terribly shoe" you mean
>that he is a crumb in the upper social crust of the college, though a more
>kindly metaphor might occur to you...

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