According to a forum user the expression, seemingly always expressed as a question, gives the meaning:
"What am I bid!?" is an expression usually used by an auctioneer when he is starting a bidding process for an object that he is selling. He is asking for someone to offer a price (bid).
There were two films with this name, one in 1919, and one in 1967 about a person who wants to become an auctioneer. The only place I've seen this in a dictionary is at Lexico, which gives the English->Spanish translation of:
- what am I bid for this vase? — ¿cuánto ofrecen por este jarrón? (Roughly "how much are you offering for this vase?")
The meaning is pretty clear, but I have two questions:
1.How should this sentence be parsed? For example, "bid" is a verb in "What do you bid?" and a noun in "What is your bid?" What is it, or was it, in this expression?
2.Can the expression be conjugated for grammatical person, as in:
What (are they/is he) bid (at the auction).