Per Wikipedia, calling “dibs” is the American English  term, also known as “Bags” in the Australia and New Zealand, and as “Bagsies” in UK and Ireland, for an informal convention where one declares a first claim to something to which no one else has a clearly recognized right. Such a declaration is often recognized in certain cultures, or sub-cultures, as a means to avoid arguments over relatively trivial issues although can be considered quite rude at some points.

The dibs declaration can only be negated if the caller is challenged and defeated in a fistfight.

The term ‘Bags’ in much of the English world outside of the US comes from the schoolyard practice of placing ones bag on a chair, bench or other location, thus reserving the seat for you or your group of friends.  Or in the case of Chicago, the unwritten rule of plastic chairs or other items set in the street to save the spot for your car, especially in winter.

Ah yes, winter in Chicago.  We’ve have over 20 inches of snow the past few days, with more on the way.  This picture shows what can happen when you shovel for days to get your car out in the city, and then someone else parks there.  I think you can see the car antennae sticking out.  We spent 3 hours digging out that spot, we have no problem spending 6 hours burying your car if you park there comes along, and parks in YOUR space.

snow parking

The side streets are the orphans of the city plows, and must wait until the main roads are sparkling clean before they make a pass down the center of the street, burying the cars even more.  The road is usually like a washboard then, because of the underlying melting snow/ice that has hardened into concrete.  It takes HOURS of intensive labor to dig your car out after 2 feet of snow.  Therefore, people mark their territory when they have their spot cleaned out.

dibs1They use whatever old furniture they have laying around, typically chairs.  Some people like to get creative and class it up a bit.

dibs2But you better make sure you put out enough furniture to save a big enough spot, otherwise this will happen.


My heart does go out to those in the city.  I guess I am lucky to have my big garage and remote auto start out here in the country.



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