If I had my druthers


What's the meaning of the phrase 'If I had my druthers'?

If I had my preference.

What's the origin of the phrase 'If I had my druthers'?

This is an American phrase and not used widely elsewhere. People elsewhere in the world might want to know what druthers are. Druthers is a shortening of ‘would rathers’. The phrase originated in the late 19th century and is first cited in the January 1870 edition of Overland monthly and Out West magazine, in a story called Centrepole Bill, by George F. Emery:

“If I was a youngster, I ‘drather set up in any perfession but a circus-driver, but a man can’t always have his ‘drathers.”

Druthers, as opposed to its earlier variant drathers, is traced back to 1876 in Dialect Notes:

Bein’s I caint have my druthers an’ set still, I cal’late I’d better pearten up an’ go ‘long.”

Trend of if i had my druthers in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.