You betcha

Wookie

Senior Member
Korea, Korean
What does "You betcha" mean?
I know betcha is bet you. But I still don't know what that means.
 
  • HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Could anyone please help me familiarize myself more with the reply "You betcha" without a following clause? In response to what kind of query or statement, would you be likely to say it? (I understand it is an out-of-date phrase, mostly used by older generations in the Midwest of the United States)

    I know you might say "You betcha" to "Thank you," but how else could you use it? I would definitely appreciate some examples.

    Hiro/ Sendai, Japan
     

    Starfrown

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think "you betcha" is an alteration of "you bet ya," where "ya" represents a colloquial pronunciation of "you." The basic meaning is that "you can safely bet your life on it."

    It is used after "thank you" to indicate that the addressee thinks nothing of helping the speaker, i.e. the speaker can safely bet his life on getting help from the addressee whenever he needs it.

    It may be used of anything that is beyond a doubt.

    You probably already know that this is an extension of "bet" as it is used in gambling.
     

    Joelline

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't really think the phrase is all that out-of-date. Governor Sarah Palin used it frequently when she was campaigning last fall for Vice President of the US! It is a bit "old-fashioned," I think, but not out-of-date. It seems to me that Ms. Palin used it as an intensifier when she wanted to express agreement with her questioners:

    Reporter: Governor, do you think you have the qualifications to be VP of the US?
    Palin: You betcha! Today, governors are administrators and policy makers who deal with fiscal, social, and even international issues. Why I can see Russia from my own backyard! :rolleyes:
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese

    panzerfaust0

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Hello. I encountered this phrase, "you betcha" today at work. Basically I was putting stuff into boxes. I asked my coworker whether I could mix today's boxes with yesterday's, and she replied with, "Yes. you betcha".

    From the context of it, I gathered that it was a more "intensified" form of "yes". Can someone tell me if I am correct? Thanks.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The OED suggest that 'You betcha' could be a colloquial version of 'you bet you' or 'you bet your life', and it's not just AmE (looking at post 6). The first two are British, and Clune is Australian.

    d. Also in corrupt forms (I, you, etc.) betcha, betcher, representing colloq. pronunciation of bet you or your (life).
    1922 ‘R. Crompton’ Just—William ix. 174 You betcher life!
    1936 P. G. Wodehouse Laughing Gas v. 61 ‘You're home-sick, what?’ ‘You betcher.’
    1936 F. Clune Roaming round Darling xxii. 219 Andrew Hume..had said one day to the governor of the prison, ‘Betcher I know where to find the sole survivor of the Leichhardt expedition.’ ‘Betcher!’ mocked the governor.
    1940 G. Butler Kiss Blood off Hands v. 82, I collared a kid..and asked him if he wanted to earn a shilling. ‘You betcha, mister,’ he said.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Just from curiosity, I checked out the Wodehouse example: There it's an American character, Joey Cooley, speaking.;) I don't know about the Just William example - little boys playing at cowboys? :D
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Ah, so it has American associations after all then! I didn't think to follow up on Wodehouse etc.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Colour/color me curious, nat.

    I doubt whether "betcha" and its variations was much used in BE until younger people started imitating American screen heros in their speech. I don't think we ever used "You betcha" when I was growing up in England, though if we had bothered to transcribe what we actually said, our speech might have approximated "betcha" in a phrase such as "I bet yer gonna..." or "You can bet yer life on that".
     
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