Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
#102690 - 05/07/03 03:56 AM Dibs  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,788
Father Steve Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Father Steve  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 2,788
Seattle, Washington, USA
In the language of young people, one may assert a claim to ownership or entitlement by claiming to have "dibs on" the object in question. From whence cometh this expression? And why are dibs always "on" something? And don't give me any nonsense about "dibstones" unless you know what they were, how they were used and what they have to do with "dibsing" something.


#102691 - 05/07/03 05:42 AM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 104
RubyRed Offline
member
RubyRed  Offline
member

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 104
I surely don't know the answer, but I have dibs on the first reply to your thread.......


#102692 - 05/07/03 08:20 AM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,624
Capfka Offline
Pooh-Bah
Capfka  Offline
Pooh-Bah

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,624
Utter Placebo, Planet Reebok
I'm not sure about this, but I fancied that it was a lift from Cockney rhyming slang for fingers - dabblers -> dibblers -> dibs.

Not standing by it, though.


#102693 - 05/07/03 10:23 AM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
dibs on the first reply

Just a usage question: Can you claim dibs on something while simultaneously actually taking that on which you claim dibs? I've never heard it used as anything other than making a claim before actually executing that claim.


#102694 - 05/07/03 01:03 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand
belligerentyouth  Offline
old hand

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,055
Berlin
It's about time we had a nitpickers thread again, innit Faldage? I call shotgun on the first reply though!

Anyway, Quinion has a pretty thorough discussion on 'dibs':
http://www.quinion.com/words/qa/qa-dib1.htm


#102695 - 05/07/03 01:05 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
I wan't pickin no nit. I was just askin, loike.


#102696 - 05/07/03 01:21 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
I haven't heard "dibs" since early 1920s. Word-Detective cannot add much:
http://www.word-detective.com/041899.html#dibs


#102697 - 05/07/03 01:44 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
Bean Offline
old hand
Bean  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,156
I haven't heard "dibs" since early 1920s.

Dear Dr. Bill, we use it all the time! ("We" meaning, say, people born after 1970...)


#102698 - 05/07/03 01:55 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I've heard people (mostly children) calling dibs on things since I was a little girl back in the early 1950s.

I just asked a group of 8-year-olds, "What does it mean when you Call dibs on something?"

One child answered, "It means you get to have it because you called dibs before anybody else."

Funny. I need to ask the kids in my next class--after such an answer--"Well, what exactly do you think 'dibs' means?"

#102699 - 05/07/03 02:07 PM Re: Dibs  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Faldage  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 13,803
I would think that, children's language being normally very conservative in such matters and largely ignored by adults, that there could easily be a provenance af much greater age than the first recorded use. That it doesn't seem to match British usage would seem to argue against an origin in a British children's game, however. Do we have any citations from those of us from outside of North America?


Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,879
Posts224,003
Members9,024
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
TFED1, mark18, PureTech, Dilys, Abishek
9024 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 63 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
mark18 1
Dilys 1
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 9,005
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7256 MB (Peak: 2.8600 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-10-21 16:05:44 UTC