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The meaning and origin of the expression: If I had my druthers

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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, as the phrase conveys otherwise. 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."