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The surprising history of the word 'dude'

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posted on May, 9 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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Many common terms in English have unexpected roots. A woman named Kelly Grovier explores the origins of seven words coined in art history, including the political meanings of ‘silhouette’ and ‘picturesque’, and how ‘mobile’ became ‘mob’.

Here's a little history of the word you've probably heard your children or grand children say a million times.


What follows is a brief exploration of some of the more fascinating coinages of words that have long since eased their way from their artistic origins into casual conversation.

'Dude'



The word ‘dude’ originally applied to American dandies – such as Evander Berry Wall, pictured – in the 19th Century (Credit: Alamy)



Before there was ‘bro’, there was ‘dude’: that informal address that slaps you on the back with one hand, gives you a White Russian with the other, and says, ‘hey, I woke up at noon too, man’. For the past 20 years, Jeff Bridge’s portrayal of The Dude in the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski (1998) has epitomised the seductive spirit of dudeness. Dishevelled, stoned and disorientated, The Dude’s laid-back attitude is difficult to square with the artsy origin of the word itself, which seems to have entered popular discourse in the early 1880s as shorthand for foppishly turned-out male followers of the Aesthetic Movement – a short-lived artistic vogue that championed superficial fashion and decadent beauty (‘art for art’s sake’) and was associated with ostentatiously-attired artists such as James McNeill Whistler and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

It’s thought that ‘dude’ is an abbreviation of ‘Doodle’ in ‘Yankee Doodle’, and probably refers to the new-fangled ‘dandy’ that the song describes. Originally sung in the late 18th Century by British soldiers keen to lampoon the American colonists with whom they were at war, the ditty, by the end of the 19th Century, had been embraced in the US as a patriotic anthem.

By then, an indigenous species of fastidiously over-styled popinjays had emerged in America to rival the British dandy, and it is to this new breed of primly dressed aesthetes that the term ‘dude’ was attached. Over time, the silk cravats and tapered trousers, varnished shoes and stripy vests worn by such proponents of the trend as Evander Berry Wall (the New York City socialite who was dubbed ‘King of the Dudes’) would be stripped away, leaving little more than a countercultural attitude to define what it means to be a Dude (or an El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing).



Link To Article:BBC

They also go on to talk about the historical significance of the words Mobile, Grotesque, Surreal, Panorama, and finally, Picturesque.

It's interesting to know the history of the words I often use at times.






posted on May, 9 2019 @ 01:45 PM
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originally posted by: LtFluffyCakes96
Many common terms in English have unexpected roots. A woman named Kelly Grovier explores the origins of seven words coined in art history, including the political meanings of ‘silhouette’ and ‘picturesque’, and how ‘mobile’ became ‘mob’.

Here's a little history of the word you've probably heard your children or grand children say a million times.


What follows is a brief exploration of some of the more fascinating coinages of words that have long since eased their way from their artistic origins into casual conversation.

'Dude'



The word ‘dude’ originally applied to American dandies – such as Evander Berry Wall, pictured – in the 19th Century (Credit: Alamy)



Before there was ‘bro’, there was ‘dude’: that informal address that slaps you on the back with one hand, gives you a White Russian with the other, and says, ‘hey, I woke up at noon too, man’. For the past 20 years, Jeff Bridge’s portrayal of The Dude in the Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski (1998) has epitomised the seductive spirit of dudeness. Dishevelled, stoned and disorientated, The Dude’s laid-back attitude is difficult to square with the artsy origin of the word itself, which seems to have entered popular discourse in the early 1880s as shorthand for foppishly turned-out male followers of the Aesthetic Movement – a short-lived artistic vogue that championed superficial fashion and decadent beauty (‘art for art’s sake’) and was associated with ostentatiously-attired artists such as James McNeill Whistler and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

It’s thought that ‘dude’ is an abbreviation of ‘Doodle’ in ‘Yankee Doodle’, and probably refers to the new-fangled ‘dandy’ that the song describes. Originally sung in the late 18th Century by British soldiers keen to lampoon the American colonists with whom they were at war, the ditty, by the end of the 19th Century, had been embraced in the US as a patriotic anthem.

By then, an indigenous species of fastidiously over-styled popinjays had emerged in America to rival the British dandy, and it is to this new breed of primly dressed aesthetes that the term ‘dude’ was attached. Over time, the silk cravats and tapered trousers, varnished shoes and stripy vests worn by such proponents of the trend as Evander Berry Wall (the New York City socialite who was dubbed ‘King of the Dudes’) would be stripped away, leaving little more than a countercultural attitude to define what it means to be a Dude (or an El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing).



Link To Article:BBC

They also go on to talk about the historical significance of the words Mobile, Grotesque, Surreal, Panorama, and finally, Picturesque.

It's interesting to know the history of the words I often use at times.





Excellent find..


Heard a radio lab that tried to search down the oldest English based word that still means and sounds the same today.


It was mama and dada..

Apparently it is the 2 easiest sounds for a baby to make.. so we didn’t teach them “mama/dada”..

They chose to call us that because it is easier.



posted on May, 9 2019 @ 01:51 PM
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From where did the term "Dude Ranch" originate?



posted on May, 9 2019 @ 02:15 PM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Very interesting, Thanks for posting this.
S&F for a break from the normal.



posted on May, 9 2019 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

It fits.
I was taught that basically dude meant "well dressed man"



originally posted by: IAMTAT
From where did the term "Dude Ranch" originate?

As to dude ranch, there were a lot of eastern dandies or dudes who went to holiday ranches to pretend life as a cowboy for a time, which was popularised through the media of the time.
Eg Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, and glory tales in papers of hero sheriffs vs outlaws



edit on 9-5-2019 by acrux because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2019 @ 07:03 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Always interested in etymology. Not to be confused with entomology, the study of insects. I learned the hard way. I'd rather not talk about it.



posted on May, 11 2019 @ 05:15 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

According to mainstream media and as far as that goes we used to surf whenever we could and a dude was a name for a person,didn't really represent anything,in the south they would change word to "Son",just an expression,this is from the 50's before that one"dude" was born




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