Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

What is the etymology of the word "dude"?

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  • Favorite Answer

    IDK but in Arabic "dude" means worm.....hhhmmm

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  • anna
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    This question has been asked before in "Words and Wordplay." Run a search for it.

    Originally in 19th century America, a "dude" was a dandy, a well-dressed, elegant and rather foppish man. They spoke of "getting all duded up" etc.

    In the 20th century, "dude" was used in the West by real cowboys to make fun of Easterners who were sent out West for their health (often TB or asthmatic type complaints), and would buy the full cowboy rig and wear it, even though they often couldn't ride. Eventually this transferred to the "dude ranch", a sort of adult summer-camp opened by westerners to cater to the Eastern public who wanted the "cowboy experience".

    The term "dude" became current in the 1950's and 60's among rock musicians, along with "cat" and other such terms, to mean any person. Only in the 1990's did it become current as an expression of surprise by itself.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    since an episode of lost a couple of weeks ago my Master and i have been messing around saying "duuuuuuuuuuude" a lot - which makes Uus laugh

    it is a word i never would say normally

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dude

    There is no definitive origin of the word dude. The Oxford Dictionary suggests it comes from a German dialect word meaning 'fool'. The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang cites an 1877 reference in an unpublished letter of the painter Frederick Remington: "Don't send me any more women or any more dudes," he told a correspondent who was sending him sketches. The term entered New York City slang in 1883, referring to a fastidiously sharp dresser, affecting sophistication. "Dude" was quickly applied to urbanites, especially Easterners vacationing in the West, who affected elaborate 'Wild West' dress, as paying visitors at a "dude ranch." The dude in "dude ranch" was a figure of mockery; an urban Easterner affecting the look and lifestyle of the Western cowboy, but only on a temporary basis.

    In the 1960s and 1970s, the term "dude" was a popular part of African-American slang that was used by both males and females in referring to a male or males. The term was used in some black "street" novels of that era (e.g. Inner City Hoodlum p 58 and many other Donald Goines' novels).[citation needed] "Dude" was frequently used by black characters in 1970s TV shows, which included "Good Times" and "Sanford and Son". In many 1970s black films, the term was often used; for example, in the film "Blacula," the title character was referred to as "the big dude."

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  • Ali
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The history or etymology of the word Dude comes from young pop culture...from a surfers background.It means fool in German.A male is often referred to as a dude.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I was under the impression that the word 'dude' is a spillover from all those American cowboy films of the 50s and 60s where a dude ranch was a flashy place for tourists and guests etc., as opposed to a real working ranch, hence a dude was a flashy cowboy (e.g. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, etc.) . It has never occurred to me to think of any other explanation.

    Therefore, nowadays a dude is usually a term for somebody who is a snappy dresser as in, 'cool dude' such as The Fonz.

    Quick definitions (etymology)

    noun: the study of the sources and development of words

    noun: a history of a word

    Source(s): Quick definitions (dude) from the Old English Dictionary noun: a man who is much concerned with his dress and appearance
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  • 1 decade ago

    There is no definitive origin of the word dude. The Oxford Dictionary suggests it comes from a German dialect word meaning 'fool'. The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang cites an 1877 reference in an unpublished letter of the painter Frederick Remington: "Don't send me any more women or any more dudes," he told a correspondent who was sending him sketches. The term entered New York City slang in 1883, referring to a fastidiously sharp dresser, affecting sophistication. "Dude" was quickly applied to urbanites, especially Easterners vacationing in the West, who affected elaborate 'Wild West' dress, as paying visitors at a "dude ranch." The dude in "dude ranch" was a figure of mockery; an urban Easterner affecting the look and lifestyle of the Western cowboy, but only on a temporary basis.

    In the 1960s and 1970s, the term "dude" was a popular part of African-American slang that was used by both males and females in referring to a male or males. The term was used in some black "street" novels of that era (e.g. Inner City Hoodlum p 58 and many other Donald Goines' novels).[citation needed] "Dude" was frequently used by black characters in 1970s TV shows, which included "Good Times" and "Sanford and Son". In many 1970s black films, the term was often used; for example, in the film "Blacula," the title character was referred to as "the big dude."

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  • dude
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Dude was used in the Laurel and Hardy film "Way out West" and in other westerns, even in the silent era.

    "I thought I told you two dudes to take the next train out of town!" the sheriff tells Laurel and Hardy.

    It also exists in literature.

    The oldest reference I can find to "dude" as a person refers to a migrant worker on a dude ranch.

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  • Titan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Your question arose so many interesting answers, admittedly this is the first time I read all the answers before attempting to make a cleaver answer. Still, I don't know what's the origin is but would like to add that I've heard of a use of the word "Sky Dude!" possibly referring to God himself.

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  • Sterz
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    first documented in 1883, "fastidious man," New York City slang of unknown origin. The vogue word of 1883, originally used in reference to the devotees of the "aesthetic" craze, later applied to city slickers, especially Easterners vacationing in the West (dude ranch first recorded 1921). Surfer slang application to any male is first recorded c.1970. Female form dudine (1883) has precedence over dudess (1885).

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  • 1 decade ago

    According to Merriam-Webster: Etymology: origin unknown

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  • 1 decade ago

    Slightly different to the claims of some people above, but I remember being told when I was 9 years old that it meant "camel's fanny".

    To this day, I have no idea whether or not that is true - but I still chuckle when somebody uses the word.

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