American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or being a long-established business known for reputable service and a wealthy clientele: "took a job at ... [a] pronouncedly white-shoe investment-banking firm” ( Connie Bruck).
- n. US, slang A stereotypical Ivy League student.
- adj. US, slang Effeminate or immature.
- adj. US, slang Establishment; pertaining to mainstream US social power-structures.
- adj. denoting a company or law firm owned and run by members of the WASP elite who are generally conservative
- From white + shoe; their traditional footwear. (Wiktionary)
“A week or two after Salmi and Kosnoff sent their complaint to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, they headed to a Seattle high-rise to the law offices of Stafford Frey Cooper, a white-shoe firm that defended Fortune 500 clients from civil lawsuits throughout the Pacific Northwest.”
“I wonder how the white-shoe firms felt about missing out on this one ...”
“Mr. Kanfer avoids naming Bogart's many imitators, but I can recall that even before his death Bogart's spirit glimmered in Edward R. Murrow (the trench coat, the cigarette); in Jack Kennedy (Irish toughness, Harvard wit); in old white-shoe veterans of lonely World War II parachute drops with the OSS; in the writer Lillian Hellman, until she was revealed as a sanctimonious liar not long before her death.”
“Advokat is an attorney at one of Seattle's white-shoe law firms.”
“This latest drama unfolded simultaneously in Dell's headquarters in Round Rock, Tex.; in H-P's Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters; 3PAR's offices in Fremont, Calif.; and in white-shoe investment banking offices in San Francisco and New York.”
“Thousands of American inmates must represent themselves in such suits — there is no parade of white-shoe law firms at their beck and call.”
“It pays off: Forbes reports than an internal probe at the Securities and Exchange Commission found evidence that "a private-equity firm was able to avoid fraud charges only after enlisting the help of William McLucas, a former SEC director who'd joined white-shoe law firm WilmerHale.”
“So whereas in the old days prestige came to those firms that worked their way up the credit scale to the blue chips, Wall Street's white-shoe firms were motivated to look for less-creditworthy new clients.”
“On the Republican side, there's Mr. LaVerghetta, an attorney at white-shoe law firm Debevoise”
“Jon Corzine never had the stiff reputation of a white-shoe banker.”
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how white is used
A roster of adjectives that infrequently surface in typical conversation and writing. Many are dredged from scientific or other technical jargon or sieved from examples of disused archaic forms.
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