"dude" et al.

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Dec 10 01:31:43 UTC 2004

>2) I somehow missed the American Speech article (fall 2004) on "dude" and
>can't locate my copy at the moment. Barry Popik and I published quite a
>bit of material on this term in "Comments on Etymology." I wonder if the
>American Speech article mentioned it.

Not as far as I can see. The origin from "duds" or so (which seems doubtful
to me offhand) is taken from a 1994 article in AS; the etymology and early
history were not central to the new article. The author of the new article
is at the University of Pittsburgh. I use the Pitt campus libraries myself
routinely and I can vouch for the non-availability of "Comments on
Etymology" there (at least last time I checked). Some (not all) of Gerald
Cohen's "Studies in Slang" are there however.

>3) For the card game "Faro"---Is there any explanation for why it should
>be named for Pharaoh?  If so, then the the hypothesis of an Irish
>etymology would be wholly unnecessary.

It is not known why it should be called "Pharaoh" AFAIK. It's listed as
"Pharaon" (not "Fereau" or whatever) in the French academy dictionary from
1762, so it seems that the French generally thought the name was that of
the Egyptian ruler (doesn't make it etymologically 'true' of course). I
don't find it unbelievable that somebody just arbitrarily named it
"Pharaon" -- sounds classy enough. No doubt near-homonyms with some vague
semantic connection can be found in Irish, English, German, Chinese, etc.,
to support various etymological conjectures, but substantiation may be

-- Doug Wilson

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