What is the origin of the phrase, “You bet?”
“You bet” is a phrase all us Westerners grew up with. It’s regarded as a standard affirmative in the West, derived from the popularity of gambling. “Bet” is self-explanatory. The phrase is also used around the country as a synonym for “you’re welcome.”
“You bet,” a regional phenomenon much like “ehyup,” means “yes” in some parts of New England, “you betcha” for an affirmative or “you’re welcome” in North and South Dakota. “Mm-hmm” is another casual or impersonal response when the more formal “you’re welcome” isn’t needed. “You bet” is an informal way of agreeing with someone, much like a casual nod. In the West, it’s another way of saying, “thanks.”
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.
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