Divvied Up: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 26, 2023

The idiom “divvied up” means dividing something into parts or shares for distribution among a group. It’s like cutting a cake into pieces and giving a slice to everyone at the party.

In short:

"Divvied up" means to distribute or share something equally among a group.

What Does “Divvied Up” Mean?

People use the phrase “divvied up” when they talk about sharing something with others. It’s a term that helps in expressing the distribution process in a simple way.

Below are the key aspects:

  • People often use it when splitting money or resources.
  • Can be used in various situations, not limited to financial contexts.

Where Does “Divvied Up” Come From?

The exact origin of the idiom “divvied up” remains unclear, but many believe it comes from the word “divide.” People use the term “divvy” colloquially to mean divide or share. Many think it originated in the United States in the early 19th century and used to share or divide money, goods, or other items among a group of people.

People consider the word “divvy” as slang, derived from the word “divide.” It finds use in informal contexts and is widely understood in English-speaking countries. The addition of “up” in “divvied up” often indicates the completion of the action of division or distribution.

Historical Example

“They divvied up the pension fund the way the union wanted it divvied up. Everything went according to civilized rules between two juggernauts: union and corporation.”

- Economics of Aging; Toward a Full Share in Abundance: Hearings ..., 1969

10 Examples of “Divvied Up” in Sentences

Here are examples to understand the use of “divvied up” in sentences:

  • The prize money was divvied up among the winners.
  • They divvied up the tasks and got to work.
  • The pizza was divvied up among the friends.
  • The inheritance was divvied up equally among the siblings.
  • The responsibilities were divvied up so everyone knew what to do.
  • The candies were divvied up among the children.
  • The books were divvied up for reading during the holiday.
  • The chores were divvied up so that everyone had a part to play.
  • The profits were divvied up at the end of the year.
  • The tasks were divvied up and completed in due course of time.

These examples cover various contexts and situations where “divvied up” can be used.

Examples of “Divvied Up” in Pop Culture

“Divvied up” has been used in various contexts in pop culture:

  • In the movie “Ocean’s Eleven,” the loot is divvied among the team members after a successful heist.
  • In the song “Money” by Pink Floyd, there’s a line about money being divvied up.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say “Divvied Up"

Below are some synonyms for "divvied up" that can be used in various contexts. Each synonym carries a similar meaning, referring to distributing, sharing, or dividing something among a group of people.

  • Distributed
  • Allocated
  • Shared
  • Split
  • Divided

10 Frequently Asked Questions About “Divvied Up”:

  • What does “divvied up” mean?

The phrase “divvied up” is a colloquial expression that signifies the act of dividing or distributing something among a group of individuals. It's often used to convey the idea of sharing resources, assets, or responsibilities in a manner that ensures each person gets an equitable portion. 

  • Where does “divvied up” come from?

The idiom “divvied up” is believed to have its roots in the word “divide.” The term “divvy” emerged as a slang expression in the United States during the early 19th century. It's a more informal way of saying "divide" or "share." 

  • Can you use “divvied up” in different contexts?

Absolutely! The beauty of the term “divvied up” lies in its versatility. While it's frequently associated with the distribution of money or assets, it can be applied to a plethora of situations. 

  • Is “divvied up” formal or informal?

The term “divvied up” leans more towards the informal side of the language spectrum. It's a phrase you'd likely encounter in casual conversations, informal writings, or creative pieces. 

  • Is using “divvied up” in writing allowed?

Yes, “divvied up” is not only restricted to spoken language but also finds its place in written contexts. It's especially prevalent in informal writings, stories, blogs, and articles where the writer aims to establish a conversational tone. 

  • Is “divvied up” used in British English?

Indeed, “divvied up” is recognized and utilized in both American and British English. While its origins can be traced back to American slang, its meaning and usage have transcended borders, making it a familiar and understood idiom in English-speaking countries worldwide.

  • Can “divvied up” be used with objects?

Definitely! The term “divvied up” is not limited to abstract concepts or intangible assets. It can very well describe the distribution of physical objects. 

  • Is “divvied up” used in pop culture?

Yes, the term “divvied up” has made its mark in pop culture. From dialogues in movies where characters discuss splitting loot or profits to lyrics in songs that touch upon themes of sharing and distribution, the phrase has been employed in various creative expressions to convey the idea of division and allocation.

  • Is it possible to use “divvied up” in a business context?

While “divvied up” has an informal ring to it, it can still find its place in a business context, especially in internal communications or team discussions. 

  • Is “divvied up” a modern term?

Although “divvied up” has historical roots dating back to the 19th century, it remains a relevant and frequently used term in contemporary language. 

Final Thoughts About “Divvied Up”

Understanding the idiom “divvied up” benefits both spoken and written English.

  • People use this versatile term to describe distributing things among a group.
  • It has historical origins and is still relevant and widely used today.
  • It is an informal term suitable for casual conversations and informal writing.
  • Understanding its usage, context, and synonyms enhances communication skills.

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