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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Monday
Dec042006

Dude Dialogue

En route to a rock gig, some friends and I were discussing the beauty of the word dude. I don't care what negative surfer dude connotations the word carries, I love it almost as much as I love licking the Dorito dust off nacho cheese Doritos. Idiots like me can engage in entire conversations just using one word. Intonation turns dude into a language unto itself;
Dude?
Dude.
Duuuuuude....
DUDE!

The brilliant word has infinite definitions and meanings. You can say it in almost any situation and still make sense. Those Long Talkers that never shut up? Don't even bother listening anymore.. Simply respond to every other sentence with "duuude." Mix up the intonation every time you use the word and you are The Best. Listener. Ever. Other examples of the gloriousness of Dude;
1. I aced my exam. Dude!
2. Dude, what the hell?
3. You took my last Skittle! Dude..
4. My mom just died. Dude
5. Dude, that guy is soo sexy!
6. Omg! That teacher was so stoned, me and Jason were both like "Duuuude."
7. Dude you have no idea!
8. Did you see that guy? The dude in the black hat?
9. Hey you! Uh... Dude! What's your name?
10. We better find some chicks to come with us because the bouncer isn't going to let four dudes get into the club.
11. I totally would have hooked up with that chick, but by the time I got back from the bathroom, she was already talking to some dude!
12. Hey, dude. How's it going?
13. Uh, dude... I think your zipper is down.
14. Duuuude... did you see how much air you just got off of that jump?
15. Dude, wake up! Don't you have a midterm in, like, 15 minutes?
16. Dude, stop it. You're freaking me out!

And, of course, who can forget The Dude? This is when the word is relating to or characteristic of Jeffrey Lebowski from The Big Lebowski.
"You're Lebowski?"
"I'm the Dude. Or 'his dudeness' or 'El Dudarino' if you're not into the whole brevity thing"


Is there any other word as beautifully flexible as dude? I think not! Well, I can think of maybe one, but it ain't as conversation friendly. In fact, some folks may consider it obscene. If you're interested in origins and such, my love for dude lead me to research its history on The Internets. Most sources say dude first showed up in the late 19th century, most probably as a variation on "dud," a Victorian slang term meaning "article of clothing" (still heard today as "duds"). The original dudes were fops and dandies, well-to-do young men who were known for their fancy style of dressing as well as their often dissolute "lifestyles."

A few years later, "dude" made its debut in the Western United States as a disparaging term for any city-dwelling visitor (also known as a "city slicker") to cowboy country. The taming of the West brought a flood of tourists from the East, and "dude ranches" quickly sprang up to give the visitors a taste of "cowpoke life."

In the 1930's, "dude" mutated a bit and came to be used as a general synonym for "guy" or "fellow" without its former connotations of dandyism, and seemed to be slowly fading away. The early 1960's surfer culture of Southern California, however, gave "dude" a shot in the arm, transforming the word into one of its basic units of linguistic exchange.

After cruising through the 1960's and 70's as a low-level slang term, "dude" hit the big time again in the 1980's courtesy of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Duuuude.

Oh.. and the rock gig we were driving to that ignited the whole Dude Dialogue Debate? You can check out the pics by clicking here. Springsteen? With Marah?! Duuuuuude.

Reader Comments (18)

Your love of DUDE equals my love of FUCK. They have the same flexibility...same ability to be appropriate for many emotions...mine just tends to be less acceptable in some circles - but then again - I am less acceptable in certain circles as well.

Springsteen and Marah - FUUUUUCKIN' EH!
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
I agree Richelle. I think that's what she meant when she said "Is there any other word as beautifully flexible as dude? I think not! Well, I can think of maybe one, but it ain't as conversation friendly. In fact, some folks may consider it obscene." Bruce! I agree. Duuuuude.
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
Dude, I love this post - and the comments will no doubt be just as good! I am a 48 yr. old professional woman and my two favorite words in the world are "dude" (like Monica) and "fuck" (like Richelle). Although I can (usually) refrain from using "fuck" in inappropriate settings - I just can't seem to keep the word "dude" out of my speech. It's like asking me not to use the word "and" or something. I try to be conscious of using it, but sometimes it just slips out.

Like the time I was in a business meeting with a Very Important Person in my corporate structure. We're talking the VIP that people wait on and fawn over and speak in hushed tones, "Yes, sir, I'll get that right away sir. Is there anything else, sir?" This guy is literally a legend in this career field. The only person I know who has actually had an actor "play him" in a movie.

So I was briefing him on my proposed solution to a sensitive and complex problem and he just wasn't getting it. After a few minutes of restating and word wrangling a light bulb must have gone off in his head because he leaned forward with a smile on his face and said, "You mean we should blah, blah, blah....?" (repeating back my proposal). I was so relieved he finally understood that I slammed my hand down on his desk and enthusiastically exclaimed, "Dude! Exactly!"

The look on his face could best be described as a "Kodak moment." I was horrified and for a long moment that felt like an eternity, he didn't say anything. And then with a smile tugging the corners of his mouth: "Did you... just call me... DUDE?"

Dude. I was sooooo busted. What could I say? I just shrugged apologetically and he looked around the room in disbelief and said, "You just called me DUDE!" And then he busted out laughing, like side splitting laughter, and he's saying, "Oh my God, Dude, nobody's called me that in YEARS!" So we had a good laugh and he accepted my proposal and as I'm leaving he calls me back at the door.

"Glinda?"
"Yessir?"
"That was an excellent proposal."
"Thank you, sir."
"Dude." And he nodded his head and went back to work.

December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGlinda the Good Witch
How about DUDE, I MISSED OUT ON SEEING MARAH AND BRUCE?!!! FUCK!!! I'm going to be kicking myself in the ass for a long time for missing out on that chance! Shit!...

Nice work with the photos though! From the little I could see of the crowd it looks like it was really crowded.
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterktphotog
1969 the movie Easy Rider, Peter Fonda explaining “dude” to Jack Nicholson:

George Hanson: What's "dude"? Is that like "dude ranch"?
Captain America: Dude means nice guy. Dude means a regular sort of person.

DUDE! Marah ROCKED with Bruce!!! One of my top 5 nights of all time!

(My son has called me "dude" for years. “Dude” would be cool for “Dad” but for “Mom”?)
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStarsky
'Dude' rules. Black, white, yellow, everyone loves 'dude'. Dude dude dude.

Being a Midwesterner, I loathe the Valley-Girl-Spicoli disease that has spread through our fine, flat land. Gimme Dennis Franzian English any day.



JB
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJB
Dude! OMG I used to say that word so much. I have been re-habbing it trying to get myuself to stop saying it - but no luck so far..
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Man. You guys suck. And I mean that in the best possible way.
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDave
I can see why you like the word dude, but whenever I hear dude it triggers hazy memories of that Hey Dude from Nickelodeon. Personally, I prefer the word fuck. It just rolls off your tongue nicely. When I’m overwhelmingly MAD, nothing relieves stress as quickly as yelling about fucking morons. Conversely, when you are very excited it is a wonderful exclamation.

The pics of Marah w/ Springsteen are magnificent. I can’t imagine what it must be like to collaborate with an idol. I don’t even know who I would pick given the opportunity.
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterErinS
Dudes, my day today was shit so I am here just to say FUCKITY FUCK FUCKER FUCK....

Dude. That feels better.
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRichelle
Oh my god! I totally forgot about that Hey Dude show. I wathed it all the time. So I googled it and this fan website came up. I'm sitting here dying because I can't believe there is a devoted Hey Dude fan out there still updating this website. So funny! Check it out.

http://www.swlink.net/~danichi/heydude/
December 4, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterS
that's pretty fucking cool.

and springsteen's jacket is gorgeous. but it's time for somebody to tell him that goatees are out unless you're a child toucher or a minor league baseball player.

December 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkasey
that is great post, love it:) I need to copy these exemples :) brilliant!!!! and you've mentioned 'the Big Lebowski' movie, OMG he was the fucking great example of DUDE!!!! :)

Photos of Marah and Springsteen, Woooowwwww dude!!!! that show must have been excellent!!!
December 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterana
S - The Hey Dude website is suprising enough, but did you see the the visitor count? Over 300,000 people have visited!!
December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterErinS
I had never met Springsteen.. Was really only turned onto him from The Surge.. But man, he's sexy, that one. And good hells, he's older than my dad.
December 5, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
So, you met him, right? No, wait...I don't wanna know...
December 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChrissy
Duuuuuude! Like dude, it looks like some other dudes are on to you! Dude! Dude. Dude? DUDE. Heaven Nose and I do too.

Oh, my dear Goldilocks. You must dream about me I see so much of your talk regarding this blog on The Nets. Can't. Stop. Thinking. About. It. Can you?
December 5, 2006 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko
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