It was decided to draw straws, the person getting the shortest to be the first guard.
That we'd have to draw straws, if we wanted to decide anything.
I'll draw straws with you to see who keeps guard while Bob comes to get his breakfast at the same time.
"We'll draw straws, Red and I, to see who stays," chattered Ballard.
Now you boys must draw straws to see who gets to lick the paddle!
The usual procedure, I believe, would be for us to draw straws to see which gets eaten—although there isn't any hurry.
After breakfast we'll draw straws to see who does the dishes and the other two will string the aerials.
Old English streaw "stems or stalks of certain cereals," literally "that which is scattered or strewn," related to streowian (see strew), from Proto-Germanic *strawam "that which is scattered" (cf. Old Norse stra, Danish straa, Swedish strå, Old Frisian stre, Old Dutch, Old High German stro, German Stroh "straw"), from PIE *stere- "to spread" (see structure (n.)). The notion is of dried grain stalks strewn on a floor as carpeting or bedding. As a type of what is trifling or unimportant, attested from late 13c. Meaning "hollow tube through which a drink is sucked" is recorded from 1851.
To draw straws as a means of deciding something is recorded from 1832. The last straw is from the proverb of the camel. Straw poll is from 1932; earlier straw vote (1866). Straw hat first attested mid-15c. To clutch (or grasp or catch) at straws (1748) is what a drowning man proverbially would do.
Used in brick-making (Ex. 5:7-18). Used figuratively in Job 41:27; Isa. 11:7; 25:10; 65:25.