First dibs


      • claiming priority or first choice
        To express one's right or claim to something before anyone else

      • getting something first
        To have the first opportunity to select or obtain something

      • taking the initiative
        To be the first to act or make a move in a situation or decision-making process

    Examples of First dibs

    • Samantha insisted on having first dibs on the new promotion, as she had worked hard for it and deserved the opportunity.

      The phrase "first dibs" here means that Samantha wanted to be the first one to be considered for the promotion, before any other colleague. This idiom is commonly used to describe getting preference or priority over others for something.

    • The store owner gave first dibs on the sale items to his loyal customers, as a gesture of appreciation.

      In this example, the store owner is allowing his regular customers to choose from the sale items before making them available to other buyers. This idiom can also imply getting an advantage or advantageous opportunity before others.

    • After months of waiting, Ryan finally got first dibs on the new plot of land in the city, and quickly bought it without wasting any time.

      The phrase "first dibs" in this example suggests that Ryan was the first person to have the chance to purchase the new plot of land in the city. This idiom often implies that someone has been eagerly anticipating something and is fortunate enough to be given priority or a privileged position.

    • During the job interview, the hiring manager offered first dibs on the job to Jessica, as he was impressed by her qualifications and work experience.

      Here, the use of "first dibs" implies that Jessica was given the choice to accept the job offer before any other candidate was considered. This idiom can also suggest that somebody has been given a chance to take something before others have been given the same opportunity.

    • She has first dibs on the new job opening since she has been with the company for over a decade.

      This example of "first dibs" refers to the first opportunity or right to choose, in this case, the person with the most seniority in the company has priority over the new job opening. It is a way to acknowledge and reward loyal employees.

    • I've been eyeing that jacket for some time, but you have first dibs since I know it's your favorite color.

      In this example, "first dibs" implies that the other person has a right or preference over a particular item since it meets their personal preference or taste. It's a way to show respect and consideration for others by understanding their preferences and acting accordingly.

    • Before we put the flat up for rent, we want to offer first dibs to our close friends and family.

      In this example, "first dibs" refers to the first chance or preference to take or reserve something, in this instance, an apartment, before it's made available to the general public. This helps to build relations, trust, and loyalty among one's inner circle.

    • I'm planning a surprise party for her birthday, and I want you to have first dibs on announcing it on social media.

      In this example, "first dibs" implies that the other person gets to break the news about the surprise party before anyone else, emphasizing the trust and exclusivity of confidential information to select individuals. It's a way to make others feel privileged and valued by entrusting them with a special task.


    The idiom "first dibs" is used to indicate one's priority or first choice in a situation. It can be used to claim something before others or to express the first opportunity to obtain something. It can also refer to taking the initiative in a situation or being the first to act.

    Origin of "First dibs"

    The origin of the idiom "first dibs" is uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 20th century. The word "dibs" itself is derived from the children's game "dibstones," in which players would claim objects by placing their "dibs" or markers on them.

    The phrase "first dibs" first appeared in print in a 1924 issue of "The Saturday Evening Post," and it was later popularized in the 1950s and 1960s by the television show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." It has since become a commonly used idiom in everyday language.

    The word "dibs" has also been connected to the Latin term "divus," which means "god" or "deity." This may suggest that claiming "dibs" on something is like claiming it as a divine right. However, this connection is not widely accepted and remains a debated theory.

    Overall, the idiom "first dibs" has become a popular and versatile phrase in modern English, used to express one's desire for priority or first choice in a situation. Its origin may be uncertain, but its usage and meaning have remained consistent throughout the years.