|Toy cars: the source of countless dibs claims between brothers|
(photo by Ronelle)
Interjection & noun. N.American. Mid-20th century.
[Probably related to DUBS interjection & noun.]
(Demanding) a first claim or option. (Followed by on)
Growing up in Britain, the phrase de rigueur to stake first claim on something was bagsy, as in: "Bagsy this seat!" or "Bagsy first go!" This is a 1950s corruption of bags I, as in "I bag this." In North America, the equivalent expression is dibs, as in: "I call dibs on this!" Different dictionaries give different explanations as to its origin, with some suggesting it's related to dubs, dab or division, while other saying it's from dibstones, a playground game since antiquity. Whatever the truth, no one seems to have first dibs on a verifiable etymology, and the legal standing of calling dibs or bagsy has (to the best of my knowledge) never been tested in a court of law.
Do you call dibs, bagsy or something else when staking your claim on something?
Do please bag a comment below.