How females use the word dude
by Rev. Diana (Diva) Diaz
For some strange reason, academics cannot fathom why a woman would say dude to another woman. Not only that, they question why a well educated woman, such as myself, who has a masters degree would endeavor to use such language. Well, dude, check it out!
Being a chill chica from Cali, I can attest that “dude” has greater shades of meaning than just a way for two young men to address each other. I’m the girl who was nicknamed “Dude” because I would say “Dude, what’s up?” when a friend called me. It morphed into my friend saying just “Duuuude” when she called me. I instantly knew it was her. Another friend, asked, “Dude, how come you say dude so much?” I answered, “Dude, I don’t know.” All of this makes me an self-professed expert on uses of the word, “Dude.”
Let’s look at a fictitious conversation:
Person#1: Dude! Where’s my car?
Person#2: Dude! I don’t know!
By using an exclaimation point, “dude” becomes a word which signals others to pay attention—an interjection. Person #3 takes “dude” to a whole new level by extending it over the u. Person #3 expresses sympathy, dismay or surprise at the events which have transpired. Confused?
A chill chica like me can’t comprehend the confusion when Dictionary.com spells it out so nicely for the last word that shared a cross-gender expression; man.
Slang. a term of familiar address to a man or a woman: Hey, man, take it easy. –interjection
Slang. an expression of surprise, enthusiasm, dismay, or other strong feeling: Man, what a ball game!
Man! How could you forget? This was seen frequently in popular film and television. Perhaps the very people who are confused by a chick saying, “Dude” often used “Man” in their day without regard for the address going to a man or a woman.
Let’s change Dictionary.com to include these very real meanings of Dude:
Slang. a term of familiar address to a man or a woman: Dude, chill.
–interjection . an expression of surprise, enthusiasm, dismay, or other strong feeling: Dude! Where’s my car? Or just: Dude! Also: Duuuuuuuude! Or even: Duhuhude!
In case interjections confuse you, here is an updated Schoolhouse Rock explanation:
So when you’re happy (
Hurray!) (Dude!) or sad ( Aw!) (Dude!)
Or frightened (
Eeeeeek!) (Dude!) or mad ( Rats!) (Dude!)
Or excited (
Wow!) (Dude!) or glad ( Hey!) (Dude!)
An interjection starts a sentence right.
By now it should be clear that many uses of the word “dude” are acceptable coming from a woman.
Dude, my work is done.
Diana (Diva) Diaz
Guest contributor to Examiner.com music reviews in the Los Angeles area http://preview.tinyurl.com/ylgz6ln
The Arch Dudeship says
LOL…I dig your style, Rev. Diaz, and I really dig the Schoolhouse Rock lesson.
Also couldn’t agree more with your overall point, Dude. However, I did once get in an etymological debate with a not-so-chill chica who disputed that “dude” is gender neutral. It was not a word she would self-apply. Fucking amateur.
I have a male friend who can’t stand when I call him dude. Takes it as a put-down. And talk about ‘words’ and the trouble these sounds cause when you unknowingly let them slip. I referred to a girl once, on an online dating page, as ‘honey.’ And shit; it was as if I called her a cunt, damn she flamed me back! And I didn’t mean anything by it. Seems like women have a shorter fuse, take everything so damn personal, and always look for the jag. Guess that’s one reason why I founder her where I did. And another reason why I’m still single. Where can I find all these ‘dude babes’?
Ed Churchman says
A very point Rev. DD. When it comes to communication actual words count for only around 40% of the message. Context, tone, body language and the perception of the recieving party all play a part to make up the rest.
Hence why the word Dude can be used to mean so many things, because it’s how you say it and in what context that really makes the message come across. The simplicity, the brevity and the syallabic makeup or the word make it a fantastically useful and universal little noun-come-anything.
Also, that’s why some negatively-charge, reactionary bint flamed poor ol’ Windbell, because she took it wrong. Oh, how many times have I said things online, sans my usual characteristic vocal infelction, and been slated by people who read the words in a different tone. I feel for ya, man.
Thanks Ed, you said it the best. Words certainly don’t escape you. Thought of this, don’t know who’s tongue it fell off of trippingly, but I’ll lay it on you’re Dudeness – ‘Life’s a tragedy for those who feel, a comedy for those who think.’
Rev. AF says
Duuuude! (Translation: Cooool!)
Good article Rev. D.D.
In Veneto, the place where I come from, there is a similar usage for the word “Vecio” (“Old Man” literally, or like “Old Boy”), a name a lot of use would self-apply though. It can have many meanings, just like the word “Dude”. That’s Duuuude! :)
La Duderina says
You’re throwing rocks tonight Rev. Diana.
As I’m also a Dudeist of the gender that has been commended as strongly vaginal, I take comfort in your words. Here in Ireland usage of “Dude” probably isn’t anywhere near as common as in California, but you’ll still hear it a lot and as long as you stay away from reactionary types and the square community generally, Dude is a word many a cailín will happily self-apply.
Ed Churchman says
You know, actually, this article reminds me of something I read the other day, about how words and their meaning may change over time.
Aparantly, Canada’s 2nd oldest magazine, a beloved historical periodical, is, after almost 100 years in print, having to change its name to ‘Canada’s History’ from ‘The Beaver’. They’re losing business because internet spam filters are blocking their site and emails.
Doesn’t this just suck? Can’t people abide the word Beaver, a much beloved North American mammal, in the same way we all abide the word Dude? Love it for it’s multi-meaning, don’t condem it for it’s use in the modern pornographic parlance, you petty-minded reactionaries!
RIP The Beaver (1920-2010) Dude!
The Arch Dudeship says
Good night sweet Beaver.
Maybe they should rename it The Marmot?
That reminds of what my uncle told me about Wang computers when they were big in the ’80s. He said everytime he saw a TV commercial for Wang he’d laugh because when he was a boy that’s how they referred to their johnsons or rods.
right on dude!
Rev. AF says
It seems that we are increasing the number of female Dudes, which is very cool. For those of us who are comfortable with the female form.