What Does If I Had My Druthers Mean?

If I Had My Druthers Meaning

Definition: If I had my preferred choice…

Origin of If I Had My Druthers

People often use the words I would rather to describe something they would like to do more than an alternative choice.

For example,

  • I would rather stay home on a rainy day than go in to work.

When a person uses the contraction I’d rather it sounds like the word druther. Therefore, my druthers comes from a shortening of would rather.

what does druthers mean Early uses of this expression use ‘drathers instead of druthers. ‘Drathers first appeared in America, in the later half of the 1800s, and druthers followed shortly after that.

It likely changed because of differences in how people pronounced this word.

It was first recorded in the magazine Overland Monthly and Out West, a magazine based in California, in the year 1870. It appeared in a story written by George F. Emery called Centrepole Bill:

  • 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.

Examples of If I Had My Druthers

definition of druthers In the dialogue below, two men use the idiom when discussing what to do this evening.

Robert: Hey! Are you ready to go on that bike ride we discussed earlier?

Marty: To be honest, after thinking about it, I actually prefer not to go on a bike ride.

Robert: Really? What do you propose as an alternative?

Marty: Well, if I had my druthers, I’d go to the baseball game tonight and get a hotdog and a cold one!

Robert: Okay. We can do that instead.

The second dialogue shows two students who are talking about a party that they went to.

Josh: I didn’t see you at all at the party. Were you even there?

Jeff: Yeah, I was there, but it was too crowded, and I didn’t know most of the people there. I’m not that outgoing, so I don’t usually enjoy parties that much.

Josh: Really? What about them don’t you like?

Jeff: Hmmm. I guess it’s the socializing. If I had my druthers, I’d just go to small gatherings of close friends instead of parties. Unfortunately, none of my friends likes small gatherings so I’m forced to go to big ones.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about older people who need roommates. The quote below shows a woman who would rather live alone but needs a roommate to help pay the rent.

  • “Honestly, if I had my druthers in the real world I would have my apartment all to myself,” Sims-Fletcher says. “It’s sometimes a blow to my ego, but under the current circumstances with the economy you do what you have to do and I’ve been lucky because I get along really well with my roommate. Every once in a while we have bathroom coordination issues, but we pretty much have the rhythm of it by now.” –New York Daily News

This quote shows a man describing his preferences for where to stay in temporary lodgings.

  • “I like being close to the ballpark, always have,” he said. “If I had my druthers on the road, I would rather stay in a motel next to the ballpark than have to drive a half-hour.” –New York Daily News


The phrase if I had my druthers is another way of saying If I could do what I prefer