Don’t Call Me Dude!
A derogatory term if anything, the word Dude, I can live without that word; could even take the word out of the dictionary for all I care.
Dude – A fancy-dressing, would-be cowboy. (Derived from the Scottish word, “dud,” meaning “clothes.”) The dictionary says the meaning of the word came into vogue in the 1800’s, depicting fastidious attired men, that origination began in New York.
But the surf crowd and those mindless movies from the 80’s and 90’s placed the word into the societal vocabulary bank; and it hasn’t left yet. I have really hoped the word would go away and take the word Bro with it; don’t always get what you wish for.
My dislike for the word came when the surf crowd and Hollywood made the word Dude popular; that along with the people that were using it. More or less space cadets with a void of thought, unless it came with the notion of getting loaded or catching waves. And the word Bro is so lacking, a derivative of the word brother, I hate that, people call me Bro and I cringe, my first thought is that I don’t want the person as a part of my family, least ways not as a brother.
In all my surfing years, at the very beginning, the older surfers that we learned from; they were such stoic people, mature in their thinking, they were and are the leaders of the industrial part of surfing; they were the design oriented thinkers of what surfers enjoy today. It would be a depressing day to see the likes of the great Duke Kahanamoku called Dude, one of the world’s most treasured people.
The word Dude back then was still used by cowboys, and it wasn’t used lightly if at all, cowboys back then, and maybe now, they didn’t like Dude’s. The same as in my surfing years, we didn’t like hippies, didn’t need all the drugs and abuses the hippie culture brought to life’s table; our peace of mind came from the wave, the ocean gave us life. Life and the survival of what we surfers were doing back then, that was our drug of choice; adrenalin filled escape from the world of the land lovers.
Oh we had hair (courage), we rode the tails of storms, the biggest and baddest waves we could find; some of the surfer Dude types, they would get goofy by some means then try what we were doing; sooner or later they’d be back on shore, holding on to their backsides because Mother Nature kicked them around hard. If they were lucky they might have caught one wave, with their limited abilities; but still some never reached shore again, yep getting loaded and surfing the Point at night was not smart.
Having an Uncle from Texas, I understood the meaning of Dude, the trouble they could cause in the form of doing something that they didn’t understand or know; the first lesson a surfer learns is to respect your surroundings. Don’t get drunk or loaded, because Mother Nature is very unforgiving of stupid, she will leave you high and dry; or very low and wet, or shark bait.
So even now in my old age, if someone calls me Dude, I get to looking for some sort of distance to put between me and the person calling me Dude; such a mentality, as to accept slang words as a viable part of life, such mentalities bore me. The same as the word Bro, I know my family tree, most people that call me Bro will never be in that tree, without blood, it takes supportive history to be a Brother; a Bro. As for being a “Dude”, I’m about as far away from being a Dude, as society’s knowledge of the words meaning or origin, and I am content in being so.