"Dude!"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 27, 2011 8:16 PM GMT
    It used to be that "dude" was kind of an insulting term, used by rural Westerners to describe a softie from the city. Of course there are still also "dude ranches" where softies from the city can play cowboy while on vacation.

    Around the end of the '60s "dude" started to mean any guy at all. Then it became a term of endearment like "buddy" as well. ("Dude - check out that dude wearing the roach killers with five-inch platforms!") It's still mostly used by males with each other or when females are speaking to males, but the gals are starting to use it amongst themselves too.

    Funny thing, though - it seems that saying this word stops being age-appropriate after a while. By the time somebody turns about 30 it's mostly out of their vocabulary despite its still being universally popular. Personally, I still put it in some of my writing but rarely when I'm talking. It somehow doesn't feel right to be calling somebody "dude" even if he (yes, only "he") is close to my age or older. When a person 15-20 or more years younger addresses me with it, I take it as a signal that I'm OK by them but don't call them "dude" in return. Yet there's no sense of generational sensitivity on my part with other similarly-used terms (guy, bud, man, bro...)

    Does anybody else notice this?
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    Aug 27, 2011 9:40 PM GMT
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dude