haggies - dibs

Anne Lambert annelamb at GNV.FDT.NET
Wed Feb 2 19:59:11 UTC 2000

Once again as to "dibs": I've checked my etymological dictionary and note that
"dibs" is defined as a children's game played with knucklebones or pebbles
(18th century). In Opie's book on children's games I remember that "dip" is
the term used for what we call in the US "counting out"; my dictionary also
says that "dibs" is probably a variant of "dip."
"Dibs" was also used for money in the 19th century.

Laurence Horn wrote:

> >--- Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
> >
> >> 25.  Haggies or No Haggies...When someone bought a
> >> box of candy, you would
> >> yell haggies and he would have to share with you
> >> unless that person had
> >> shouted no haggies first
> >>
> >>     "Haggies" is, unfortunately, not in DARE.  It is
> >> the rare term that's not
> >> found on ANY of my search engines (Nexis, Dow Jones,
> >> Alta Vista, Lycos,
> >> Infoseek, Deja News, et al.).  Someone from the
> >> Bronx had once asked me about
> >> "haggies."
> >
> >"Dibs" or "first dibs"
> >and "No dibs" when I was growing.  Are those more
> >common or widespread terms?
> >
> >JIM
> I don't recall "haggies" from my Manhattan rearing.  No relation to haggis,
> I presume (or persume); derived perhaps from "halfsies"?
>    "Dibs" is standard, but I can't remember when I first heard or used it.
> One related expression that IS frozen in New York childhood time, though,
> is "Blackjack no back" (or its variants, e.g. "black black no back(s)"),
> which is what you'd say if you gave something you DIDN'T want back; sort of
> the opposite of "no dibs".  You were supposed to touch something black when
> you said it.
>    Then there was "Frontsies-backsies" or "No frontsies-backsies",
> referring to the practice of allowing someone in line (or should I say ON
> line) in front of you and then switching places with them.  (It was de
> rigueur to first allow them in front, since one didn't have the authority
> to allow anyone into the line behind one.)
> Ah, the ethics of childhood.
> larry

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