Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Dec 9 02:30:51 UTC 2004

"Dude" for a recruit was apparently real but uncommon.  My guess is that it was used primarily at Western posts, with sarcastic reference to tenderfoot-type "dudes" at dude ranches. "Dudes" of the Western variety were staples of B-grade cowboy movies and pulp fiction in the '20s and '30s. They were usually weak and stupid and had to be saved by the hero who then won the feisty girl that the dude was wooing unsuccessfully.

(In the unlikely event that a  "dude" was smart and deadly, he wasn't a "dude."  He was a crooked saloon owner and had to be dealt with accordingly.)


Wilson Gray <wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: dude!

"I have seen middle-aged men using 'dude' with each other," she said.

Not to mention at least one senior citizen who's been using it since
1962, when he first heard it used in Los Angeles by a dude
newly-arrived from Chicago.

HDAS has "dude" as (once having been) in military use since at least
1936. In my day, late '50's to early '60's, the term for a clumsy or
awkward trainee or group of trainees was "dud(s)," which the field
first shirt defined as "a piece of ordnance that fails to explode."
This is probably not a derivative of "dude," IMO. "Dude" and "dud" look
a lot alike in print, but they sound so different that they're probably
not related and the first shirt's etymology is probably correct. Unless
he was merely crying "Wolof," of course.

-Wilson Gray

On Dec 8, 2004, at 11:59 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
> Subject: Fwd: dude!
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> American Speech in the media...
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Lauren Asia Hall-Lew
>> Date: December 8, 2004 8:16:59 AM PST
>> To: socio at csli.stanford.edu
>> Subject: dude!
>> Scott Kiesling and Mary Bucholtz on CNN:
>> http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/12/08/dude.study.ap/index.html

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