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  #1  
Old 05 May 2009, 05:42 AM
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Cow Dude

Comment: This one would fall under the "Language: Offensive Origins"
catagory.

Definition:

dude: A pimple on a cow's or elephant's butt.

I have heard this several times by word of mouth. No one has cited a
source, and the only place I can find that as a definition is in chat
rooms. There's a bunch of people out there that consider themselves
experts.

The more reliable sources indicate that the term refers to a dandy from
the eastern US, as seen by a cowboy. That would mean the term is fairly
derogatory. If that is the case, there could be some support for the
origin going back further to the pimple on a cow's butt.
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  #2  
Old 05 May 2009, 11:50 AM
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This is from Chambers Dictionary of Etymology:

Quote:
dude n. 1883, a man who is very particular or fastidious in dress, speech, and manner, a dandy or fop. The word came into vogue in New York and is of unknown origin. Later it was also applied to a city slicker, especially an Easterner vacationing in the West. The slang sense of any male, is first recorded about 1970. - dude ranch (1921)
So the derogatory use (or at least, the derogatory use by cowboy types) is later than the original meaning, and the term seems to have originated in an eastern city where it's not likely to have anything much to do with cows. Or elephants.
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  #3  
Old 05 May 2009, 05:21 PM
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Maybe some link with Dutch doetje (pr. dootye), a softish male?
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  #4  
Old 05 May 2009, 06:46 PM
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Whalephant

I had a teacher who said it was a hair on an elephant's butt.
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  #5  
Old 05 May 2009, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
So the derogatory use (or at least, the derogatory use by cowboy types) is later than the original meaning, and the term seems to have originated in an eastern city where it's not likely to have anything much to do with cows. Or elephants.
I'm not sure about that. Being called a "dandy" or a "fop" is not a compliment.
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Old 05 May 2009, 09:41 PM
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I remember looking up the word in the Oxford Unabridged back in the 70s as part of an English assignment. OUD also stated that it meant a dandy or fop. I don't remember the orgins of the word, but I do remember that the feminine version of "dude" is "dudine".
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  #7  
Old 05 May 2009, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
I'm not sure about that. Being called a "dandy" or a "fop" is not a compliment.
Are those really any different from 'metrosexual'? Of course, I would not want to be called that either (not that there is any chance).
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  #8  
Old 05 May 2009, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joostik View Post
Maybe some link with Dutch doetje (pr. dootye), a softish male?
That could go along with the NYC (formerly New Amsterdam) origins, or perhaps it is part of the closely related Germanic Anglo-Saxon-Jute origins of English, just as so many people want to find a recent origin of f***, but it seems to have been around for a very long time, and especially reinforced in English by the active waterfront connections with the Nether Regions, oops, I mean, the Netherlands.
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  #9  
Old 05 May 2009, 09:59 PM
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When I was at school someone told me that a "dude" was a camel's penis.
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  #10  
Old 05 May 2009, 10:03 PM
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Why would we have a word for an elephant's butt-pimple or butt-hair? Is there some commercial connotation to these that I'm not aware of?

FWIW, Wikipedia puts the word back to the 1870s and says that it refers to a city-person not well acclimated to the country. Which is why the term "dude ranch" makes sense - it's a place where city folk can learn the ways of the cowboy.

Here's the source they used, available online via Google books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=3WQ...+the+word+dude

Quote:
The word is undoubtedly from the Scotch duddies (clothes), which crossed into England to become duds or dudes; and the first dude was what Shakespeare called "a clothes-wearing man". In Queen Anne's time he was known as a macaroni, one of the curiosities whom Addison described as "those circumforaneous wits whom every nation calls by the name of that dish which it loves best. In Holland they are called pickled herrings, in France jean potages, and in Great Britain jack puddings." In a play by Terence, the Latin dramatist, occur these lines:

Ita visus est
Dudum quia varia veste exornatus fuit,

Which has thus been put in English:

He seemed a dude, because he was arranged in a jacket of many colors.

This bears out the claim that dude is from the Scotch word duddies, clothes . . .
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  #11  
Old 05 May 2009, 10:06 PM
Tom o' Bedlam Tom o' Bedlam is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franjava View Post
I had a teacher who said it was a hair on an elephant's butt.
I heard the same thing from a friend many, many years ago. I later decided he must have just made it up, and until now I've never heard the claim since. Not that I find the claim any more credible now.

One has to wonder under what circumstances an elephant's butt-hair would have been given its own word.
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  #12  
Old 06 May 2009, 02:58 AM
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I was told "a dude is a hair on an elephant's butt" when I was in second or third grade. I was then told by the same boy that NERD stood for "(g)narly everlasting radical dude." When I pointed out this meant you were a "(g)narly everlasting radical hair on an elephant's butt," I was told to shut up
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  #13  
Old 06 May 2009, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom o' Bedlam View Post
One has to wonder under what circumstances an elephant's butt-hair would have been given its own word.
The British East Indian Elephant Butt Floss Company, established 1668?
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  #14  
Old 06 May 2009, 04:09 PM
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So maybe the Dutch took it fom the Scotch? Historically Scotch-Netherlandish relations have been very close (from Calvinism to the game of golf).
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  #15  
Old 06 May 2009, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
When I was at school someone told me that a "dude" was a camel's penis.
I heard the same thing except that 'dude' was an Egyptian word. I also heard that 'knife' is Egyptian for 'f**ker' or vice versa. Everytime I use the word 'dude', which is more than I realised and knife, I have a giggle to myself.
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