Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dude

It used to be that a "dude" was a guy. And only a guy. For instance, once upon a time it would have been appropriate to say, "Dude, Viagra can help that," but not "Dude, are you having your period?" As another example, everybody's favorite grammarians, Aerosmith, once wrote a song called "Dude Look Like a Lady." And this was noteworthy, and worth singing about and writhing on stage over, because most dudes did not.

But now, from what I can tell from my hipster/indie friends who are up on the latest slang, "dude" is a cross-gender noun meaning "person." When did this happen? And why? And what word has replaced the formerly serviceable "dude" to mean "generic male slacker"?

4 comments:

caleb jd maskell said...

dude.

you're so behind the curve on this one. i'll say dude has been largely gender-non-specific since the mid-90s. probably since slacker got some indie buzz.

¡ole!

-caleb.

Eric said...

I don't know, but my ex-girlfriend's roommate was using it this way in 2000.

just scott said...

There is but one true "dude"...and I know that he hates The Eagles :)

Andy Whitman said...

Caleb dude, this is why I rely on young, hipster-like beings like you to set me striaght.

Scott, I'm inclined to agree that no true dude could like The Eagles.