"I got dibs" antedated (?) to 1915

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Jun 21 18:06:24 UTC 2014

Our Boys vol 9 no. 4 (Oct, 1915). Wisconsin Home and Farm Association, Wauwatosa, Wisc. p. 5 col 2. GB. OED has dib n. 2., 1. b, 1932.

"I Got Dibs"

(Not Copyrighted)

We have a sentence at our school,

A sentence old and tried,

That tells just how a fellow feels

Away down deep inside.

We use this little sentence

This sentence short and terse,

When a fellow's in a hurry

And lacks time to converse.

At School or at home

At work or at play,

We use this expression

Every single day.

The word "dibs" denotes

A desire to some work.

While words "not dibs" signifies

A tendency to shirk.

When the jitney is backed out

And its honk-honk is heard

There's a scramble for the auto

And "dibs" is the only word.

And when in spring

We are playing with "mibs,"

The first one to shoot

Is he who calls "dibs."

When a morsel is left

In a cooking dish

This short little sentence

Will voice a boy's wish.

Each boy cries out

As quick as he can

"I got first dibs

On the baking pan."

Then from some tardy chap

There comes without fail,

The saucy reply,

"Ah, guy, you are stale!"

This little sentence has

A score of uses all its own,

With meanings numerous

That Webster ne'er has known.

Without this little sentence

We could not live a day,

For not a chap in all the School

Would know just what to say,

--L.J. Wright

Stephen Goranson



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list