When you were a child and wanted to lay claim to something, what did you say? Did you call “dibs”? Or “hosey” it? A caller is curious about another verb used in such situations: “finnie.” Grant explains this word’s meaning and origin.

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  1. Glenn Roosevelt says:

    Was there once in English a pronoun for the category of two people. If so, what was it? Thanks!

  2. Pam says:

    My kids (2 aggressive boys) had a system of “calling the front seat” and making it “fair”. They worked out a schedule. However, neither of them was allowed to ride in the front seat until he had reached the legal weight and height. That resulted in a nutrirional battle between them. As a mother devoted to good nutrition and physical fitness, I felt blessed, to say the least.

  3. Anita says:

    My son, Justin, used his birthright to the front seat as a topic for one of his papers for entry into college, based on his being older than his sibling. He wrote that he was born first, and he was taller, among other reasons. I believe he wrote that I was unmoved by his arguments and forced him to split the front seat rides with his younger brother based on birth date. His brother, I said, was born on an odd day of the month, and thus could ride in the front seat on odd days; and Justin, was even odder, and he could ride in the front on even days.

  4. martha says:

    Love these stories, ya’ll – thanks for sharing!

    Glenn, I’m not aware of anything like that. Ancient Greek has a dual form for certain nouns, as do a few other languages.

  5. Julia says:

    Yes, but where does the word “dibs” itself come from???

    I’m also interested to hear Grant and Martha’s thoughts on “y’all.” I find it an extremely useful word, and since I am now living in Amsterdam, was interested to see it compared to the Dutch second person plural “jullie” on wikipedia.

  6. Jorge Jose Lawand says:

    grateful to learn in this way

  7. Tabitha Garcia says:

    In regards to saving a seat while you leave temporarily to go to the bathroom or whatnot, I recall someone telling me that their family would say “Quack quack I’ll be back” which eventually was shortened just to “quack” and if you “quacked” everyone knew not to take your seat. If you came back and someone had, you might say, “Hey, I quacked” as a defense to get it back.

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