"I bags that"

Discuss word origins and meanings.

"I bags that"

Post by hsargent » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:18 pm

http://www.word-detective.com/041899.html#dibs

A good archived reference which mentions Dibs, Bags, and others from the Brits.
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Signature: Harry Sargent

"I bags that"

Post by daverba » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:25 pm

Perhaps ...

bags < begs

dibs/debs < debt < L. debere (to owe)

My father grew up poor in Massachusetts during the Great Depression, and he told us that, back then, if someone was eating an apple, someone else might claim "cordsies" (my father pronounced it with a "d"). If someone had been beaten to that claim, they might claim "double cordsies." Hopefully, this occurred only among kids. He explicitly stated that "cordsies" referred to the apple "core" (that is to say, that s/he gets the apple core when the previous person is done with it). I noticed that Word Detective followed "dibs" back to 1932 (the Depression Era). I suppose that when people are very hungry, any verbalization short of a snarl or a drooling sound would gain a place in accepted usage. And, words seem so forceful when they begin with a plosive.
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"I bags that"

Post by wordybirdy » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:45 pm

Harry, do/did Americans have childhood slang like ours? Could you give some examples?

Also, I'd love to know how dollars came to be called bucks (and pounds quids for that matter). Also, why are Americans sometimes called Yanks, and do Americans find it offensive?
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"I bags that"

Post by wordybirdy » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:46 pm

daverba, have only just seen your post. Thanks, interesting.
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"I bags that"

Post by wordybirdy » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:10 pm

Occurred to me later that it comes from Yankee Doodle Dandy, I suppose. So I'm really asking where the word Yankee comes from.
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"I bags that"

Post by wordybirdy » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:32 am

Or rather, that song comes from the word Yankee.
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"I bags that"

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:15 am

I wondered about that too, and asked the question HERE.

The thread also gives some search tips you may find useful. I know I did.
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"I bags that"

Post by tony h » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:01 pm

Woz,

I think you will find that Cook bagsed Oz and no one had heard Janszoon do so. So Cook had it. Just think if it had been the other way around we wouldn't be able have mutual enjoyment of cricket and rugby. And Neighbours would be in Nederlands.

:)
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

"I bags that"

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:09 pm

That's just a load of double Dutch Tony. It would have been "Naayboors" instead.
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"I bags that"

Post by Shelley » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:58 pm

You can say that again, Bob.
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"I bags that"

Post by daverba » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:04 pm

Wordybirdy, as far as I know, Americans find no offense with the very rare use of "Yank," and it seems anachronistic. To me, "Yankee Doodle" is only a funny childhood song with words (ie, "macaroni") that don't make sense (just like in the song "Ring Around the Rosy"). And if we're supposed to be a "dandy," well then, look at us now! Remember that Don Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea (1718-1798), Count of Aranda and Prime Minister of Spain, said that the United States was born a pygmy, but that a day would come when it would be a giant, even a colossus!

A difference exists between "Yank," "Yankee" and "Yankee Doodle." I've only heard "Yank" used in WW2 movies. "Yankee" is a NY ball team and is often used in business names in the northeast, specifically New England and New York: "Yankee Business Solutions" (Albany NY), The New Yankee Workshop (Lexington MA, and WGBH-TV), "Yankee Maple Products" (Jaffrey NH), etc. And there's always "yankee ingenuity," which means "exceptional industriousness" and which always has a positive connotation.

"Yankee" has a couple of suggested etymologies. I heard from childhood that it's the Indian pronunciation of "English[man]," but I've read that the Dutch in New York (formerly known as New Amsterdam) used "Jan Kees" as a nickname, and other stories about it.

On the other hand, "white trash," "trailer trash," "Georgia cracker," etc are considered offensive.
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"I bags that"

Post by wordybirdy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:22 am

Thanks, Bob and Daverba. Jan Kees sounds like the most likely, doesn't it?

Even if I hadn't heard of 'white trash' and 'trailer trash', I think I would guess that they were meant offensively! 'Georgia cracker' I haven't heard of - it sounds like a pretty southern girl, but obviously doesn't mean that at all!

'Macaroni' is an c18th word for a dandy though how it came to share it's name with a type of pasta, I don't know. 'Ring a ring a Rosy' (as it was sung in my day) is about the Black Death:

Ring a ring a [o'] rosy
A pocketful of posies
A-tishoo, A-tishoo
We all fall down.

The plague caused red circles to appear on the skin. Sufferers carried pockets of herbs which were thought to counteract the disease. Sneezing was a symptom of the disease and falling down refers to death.

A charming little ditty for the nursery. :)
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"I bags that"

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:08 am

I'm afarid if you have a look at SNOPES you will have to change your mind about "Ring a ring a Rosie".

I was quite disappointed to read it myself.
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"I bags that"

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:16 am

Be consoled, Bob. There's nothing like the good debunking of a widely-held belief to cheer up even the most morose curmudgeon. And in this case, Snopes' account of the history of the rhyme is actually far more interesting than the myth.
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"I bags that"

Post by trolley » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:58 pm

It seems odd that Snopes doesn't have anything to say about "Mary, Mary quite contrary". That one seems even more far-fetched.
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