Monday, January 10, 2011

Call dibs on (something)

If you call dibs on something, you are declaring that you have the first choice, you claim the right to have or do something first... but you have to be the first one to call/ say "Dibs!". It's the same as saying, "Me first!".

1. "I've got dibs on the front seat!" (Passenger seat in the front of a car).

2. When young guys go out to a party and are looking for girls, it is not uncommon to hear one of them say, "I've got dibs on the blond girl with the blue shirt!"

3. Kids or teenagers may say: "I've got dibs on the X-box when we get home", which means, "I'm going to play on the X-box first."

4. I've got dibs on the karaoke machine... I want to have a go first.

5. "Dibs on the shower/ toilet" or "I'm going to shower first/ go to the toilet first!"


  1. Hi, I like it! I think in Hungarian it would be: stipi-stopi (pronounce it: shtippy-shtoppy). Have a nice day! Viki

  2. Hello again,

    the idiomatic expression of this day is "Call dibs on (something/someone)" however, in all your examples but the last one, you use another structure: (Subject) Have got Dibs on (something/someone). I was wondering whether the knight of the picture could say: "I've got Dibs on his shield" and viceversa say: "I call Dibs on the blond girl with the blue shirt!", what I mean is, are they interchangeable?

    Thanks for your time.

  3. Hi Antonio,
    exactly as you supposed... there is more than one way to say the same thing... usually idiomatic expressions are fixed with very little room for deviation... but in this case "dibbs" is the only unchangeable part of the expression. In Portuguese, by the way, a similar expression would be, "Eu vi primeiro".


  4. Thank you, very useful, now there's "no big deal" with this.