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From Cambridge Dictionary

Harvard was not his first choice.

She would be my first choice for the job.

Where "choice" means "a person or thing that has been chosen or that can be chosen".

"pick" with the meaning of "a choice, or something that is chosen" seems like a synonym.

Is the following sentence natural? Does it mean the same thing as quotation?

Harvard was not his first pick.


Someone might think it is not appropriate to use "pick" when talking about college. However, in one episode of‎ the TV show "Friends", one character (Ross Geller) says

And everyone's telling me, "You gotta pick a major, you gotta pick a major." So on a dare, I picked paleontology. And you have no idea what I'm saying because, let's face it, you're a fetus. You're just happy you don't have gills any more! src

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  • For some reason, American sports commentators often seem to prefer pick over the idiomatic standard choice here. Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 14:13
  • Perhaps Harvard was not his first pick because he realised his choice of non-idiomatic standards would never get past the interview. Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 15:42
  • Compare ell.stackexchange.com/questions/126487/… To speak of 'picking' a university doesn't seem at all right to me; I would pick a chocolate from a box, or a pizza from the menu, but not something as important as which university to attend! Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 17:14

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