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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. 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."