Hey, Dudes!

Or is it Doods?

Thank you Arika Okrent for your article on the MentalFloss blog. You saved me! See, a few weeks ago, I heard on Jeopardy that the word “Dude” came from the song “Yankee Doodle.” I thought that was great fun, and planned to blog about it.

Except my dictionary came up with a blank for the etymology of the word. So did the Online Etymology Dictionary, for the most part.

But this was Jeopardy. They couldn’t be wrong. Right?

Well, along comes this article from Ms. Okrent, in which she reports more current research that shows the word DOES come from the song “Yankee Doodle”. You know how it describes a fashion-fastidious man who must have a feather in his cap, and who likes very continental things like Italian macaroni? Well, that’s where “dood” comes from.

Then we started spelling it “dude,” and transported the term to those Easterners who could only play at being cowboys of the Wild West…you know, like at a dude ranch? They dressed as cowboys, but were not really cowboys.

All dressed up and no real.

Gotta say, though, there are plenty of women who are all dressed up and no real, too! Dudettes!

However, we use Dude and Dudette as general male-female terms any more.

[CORRECTION: It was pointed out to me that the word “dude” doesn’t appear in “Yankee Doodle, and technically it doesn’t. LOL. “Dude” was shortened from “doodle,” and even used to be spelled d-o-o-d. (Which makes more sense then d-u-d-e, I’ve gotta say.)]

Enjoy this video celebration of all you Yankee Doodle Dandys out there: