Recent threads on such diverse topics as ecclesiastical Latin and shopping procedures have led me to speculate on the use of "bags" in juvenile language common WIWAL to denote staking a claim(1). The results of a cursory search indicate that the usage may still have some currency:
l=en&lr
.
It seems to require the subjunctive when followed by a verb ("Bags I be President!), but it can just as well take a substantive: "Bags I the blue one!" I've not managed to unearth any reference in the sources I have to hand, and it seems not to have cropped up earlier in AUE or UCLE.
Is it still common? Purely British? Regional? Anyone care to hazard an etymology? Or a parts-of-speech analysis?
(1) For those unfamiliar with the expression: in our schoolboy honour code, one could stake one's claim to something desirable by being the first to shout "Bags!". The pronoun was optional: "Bags bat first!" or "Bags the big slice!".

Noel

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Recent threads on such diverse topics as ecclesiastical Latin and shopping procedures have led me to speculate on the use ... in the sources I have to hand, and it seems not to have cropped up earlier in AUE or UCLE.

Has been discussed in AUE, briefly, once or twice. I recollect that Katy Edgcombe said something about it a few years ago.
Is it still common? Purely British? Regional? Anyone care to hazard an etymology? Or a parts-of-speech analysis?

It's unknown in America.
Noel Ildhund:
Recent threads on such diverse topics as ecclesiastical Latin and ... language common WIWAL to denote staking a claim(1).

Richard Fontana:
It's unknown in America.

Indeed. The parallel term I know is "dibs", as in "Dibs on the front seat!" (asserting a new claim) or "I have dibs on the front seat" (asserting an existing claim). Now, how widely is that used?
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Noel Ildhund: Richard Fontana:

It's unknown in America.

Indeed. The parallel term I know is "dibs", as in "Dibs on the front seat!" (asserting a new claim) or "I have dibs on the front seat" (asserting an existing claim). Now, how widely is that used?

I've thought of it as semi-archaic (an older generation's word) since first becoming aware of it as a child. At best it's a passive vocabulary thing for me. SWERKS.
Recent threads on such diverse topics as ecclesiastical Latin and shopping procedures have led me to speculate on the use ... to denote staking a claim(1). The results of a cursory search indicate that the usage may still have some currency:

http://groups-beta.google.com/groups?q=%22bags+I+be%22&start=0&scoring=d&h
l=en&lr http://tinyurl.com/c6n34 . It seems to require the subjunctive when followed by a verb ("Bags I be President!), but it ... desirable by being the first to shout "Bags!". The pronoun was optional: "Bags bat first!" or "Bags the big slice!".

Around here it's not "bags", but "dibs", or "dibbies".

M-W has it:
Main Entry: dibs
Pronunciation: 'dibz
Function: noun plural
Etymology: short for dibstones (jacks), from obsolete dib (to dab)
1 slang : money especially in small amounts
2 : CLAIM, RIGHTS

Don
Kansas City
be President!), but it can just as well take a substantive: "Bags I

Has been discussed in AUE, briefly, once or twice. I recollect that Katy Edgcombe said something about it a few years ago.

Good Lord, did I? I was just about to add to this thread, but probably I'd only be repeating myself.
I think we were sufficiently ungrammatical to say "Bags me" most of the time.

"Bags me be first"
"Bags me the yellow one"
but
"Bags I go to the shop"
Katy
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Has been discussed in AUE, briefly, once or twice. I recollect that Katy Edgcombe said something about it a few years ago.

Good Lord, did I? I was just about to add to this thread, but probably I'd only be repeating myself. ... most of the time. "Bags me be first" "Bags me the yellow one" but "Bags I go to the shop"

It's also used as a transitive verb, "bag", as in "Here we are - I'll park the car, you go in and bag us some seats." Past tense includes "bagged", "baggsed" and "baggsied".

Katy Jennison
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It's also used as a transitive verb, "bag", as in "Here we are - I'll park the car, you go in and bag us some seats."

This I think could be used in AmE.
Good Lord, did I? I was just about to add ... the yellow one" but "Bags I go to the shop"

It's also used as a transitive verb, "bag", as in "Here we are - I'll park the car, you go in and bag us some seats." Past tense includes "bagged", "baggsed" and "baggsied".

Good thinking, first one at the pub had better bag seats.

Laura
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