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To Hosey Something is to Claim It

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Alouette from Nelson, New Hampshire, grew up using the term hosey in order to claim something, as in I hosey that! The word’s origin is uncertain, although some speculate that hosey derives from holdsie, as in I put a hold on something. Variants include hoosey, hornsey, and honsie. Other expressions to lay claim to something desired include finnie, fin dibs, fin whackie. An article by Horace Reynolds in the journal American Speech lists many more, including this one from Ireland, which expresses not only claimed possession but the new owner’s unwillingness to share any part of it at all: Fen dibs, fen shackies, no dibs, no aikies, no chips, no divvies, and no halveens. This is part of a complete episode.

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