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) A claim to the right to use or enjoy something exclusively or before anyone else.
- Dibs means I get 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)
- (informal) Used to claim this right
- (dated) A sweet preparation or treacle of grape juice, much used in the East.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnston to this entry?)
- plural of
- (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.