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Since the early 19th century, of disputed origin. Most commonly thought to be from dibstones (“counters used in a game with the same name”). Also from dib (“to tap”) or related to northern English dip (“small depression in the ground”), or a shortened version of divide.
- (informal) The right to use or enjoy something exclusively or before anyone else.
- I call dibs on the hammock!
- Who's got dibs on the chips?
- 2011 March 23, “We asked mayoral candidates: Do you support 'dibs' on parking spots?”, in Chicago Sun-Times:
- Del Valle has the blessing of a garage, so he doesn't have to claim “dibs” on shoveled street spots himself, he said.
- 2012 February 16, “Our View: Public Employees Bill of Rights Act all wrong”, in Appeal-Democrat:
- It aims to give unionized California government workers "more workplace discipline protections and first dibs on state government work," as the Sacramento Bee put it.
- bags (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland)
the right to use or enjoy something exclusively or before anyone else
- (informal) Used to claim this right
said to reserve to the right to something before anyone else
dibs (third-person singular simple present dibses, present participle dibsing, simple past and past participle dibsed)
to claim a temporary right to something; to reserve
- (dated) A sweet preparation or treacle of grape juice, much used in the East.
- 1874, John William Kirton, The Temperance Hand-Book:
- Besides what is thus consumed, the village makes about 180,000 pounds of raisins , one third of which is for home consumption , and about 24,000 pounds of dibs, ( grape molasses , ) all of which is for home use
- plural of dib
- (obsolete) A child's game, played with dib bones or stones, throwing them up from one's palm and catching them on the back of the hand.
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