[Ads-l] dude = 'person of any gender'

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 27 19:13:28 UTC 2021

On Jan 27, 2021, at 12:57 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>

Not new, but worth noting:

Gina McCarthy, White House Climate Adviser (age 66), on CNN just now:

"I'm the dude who's supposed to deliver this in a timely way."

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."


Nice.  The locus classicus for “dude” widening is Scott Kiesling’s 2004
American Speech paper of that name.  It would be interesting to revisit his
data now to see how much it’s progressed, especially in non-vocative
contexts like McCarthy’s.  And it’s also non-referential, which also helped
earlier with the growth of sex-neutral singular “guy”. (One of my early
examples is “the other guy is a girl”, from a speaker who might not have
been as likely to identify a woman as “the guy in the corner”.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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