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  • A letterman, in U.S. sports, performing arts or academics, is a high school or college student who has met a specified level of participation and/or performance on a varsity athletic team, marching band, or in other performance school-sponsored activities.

    The term comes from the practice of awarding each such participant a cloth "letter", which is usually the school's initial or initials, for placement on a "letter sweater" or "letter jacket" intended for the display of such an award. In some instances, the sweater or jacket itself may also be awarded, especially for the initial award to a given individual.

    _Wikipedia

    The tradition of giving one's steady girlfriend one's letter jacket or letter sweater in lieu of a ring when going steady was common in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s.

    February 3, 2008