One of the most versatile words ever, probably the most versatile. In addition to its ability to be used in almost any part of speech, it can be a greeting, question, exclamation, or preface to any sentence.

After a discussion over dinner at Outback Steakhouse last night, some friends and I came to this conclusion:

There was a time when people would say "dudette," but that was admittedly lame to most people. Now, when in groups, girls and guys are called dude without discrimination. The lack of an adequate term for a feminine dude has prompted the adoption of the masculine version of the word to describe both genders.

Beware the distinction of being called a "dude"; the origin of the word dude is a dubious one. Many people know that it started in the Old West, however what many people don't know is that it was originally an insult. A dude originally meant a pimple on someone's ass. These pimples would form from riding in the saddle all day, having not been trained to be used to it.

During the classic old west time, rich people from the East coast would take "vacations" out to the west to lead the romantic lifestyle of horseback riding, wrangling, and all of adventure we typically associate with that time. Of course, while there, they would solicit the business of certain working women in the area. These women (like many other people), would show quiet contempt for people who are living their life because of some sense of vacation. They would secretly insult these men by calling them a "dude" in bed. ("You are such a dude", etc.) These men took their inflated western egos back with them to the East Coast.

The designation of dude finally outlasted the insult of a posterior pimple, and came into the colloquial use it enjoys today. Dude ranches sprang up, as being started by the Easterners who heard the slang of such places that took out such people, and did not know what it meant. Instead of raising cattle, these ranches raised "dudes".

Imagine the suprise of one of those women today, having unwittingly caused damage to our language and culture by insulting a few naive rich Easterners.

Dude (?), n.

A kind of dandy; especially, one characterized by an ultrafashionable style of dress and other affectations.

[Recent]

The social dude who affects English dress and English drawl. The American.

 

© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.