General Question

mammal's avatar

Do you ever find the term `dude' mildly insulting?

Asked by mammal (9431points) April 29th, 2009

i think it’s usage has an objectifying resonance to it, it kind of seems distant, abstract and dehumanising, say in comparison to the term `Brother.’ For example : `some Dude got killed, and then his body was torched in a car.’....Not some grieving mother’s Son…just some Dude. That would be a casual use, however i also think it is deliberately employed in a derogatory way.

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24 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

No, dude and bro’ are as interchangeable as babe and sweetheart to me. They’re all just terms of affection/friendship.

susanc's avatar

I feel very happy when people call me Dude.

augustlan's avatar

As a teenager of the 80s, I find it perfectly acceptable to be called dude. Even though I am female, dude, ‘you guys’, etc doesn’t bother me in the slightest. In the example you gave above, that does sound dismissive of someone’s very real tragedy.

SeventhSense's avatar

Some guy, brother, dude, man, got killed….insert whatever-same thing.

ahankes's avatar

Dude is okay with me. I also think the term ‘chick’ for females is okay, too. I don’t find them insulting at all.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I don’t find it insulting but instead I think it is a trite and boring expression for the most part nowadays. Just about as much as someone who says “you know” in every other sentence when they are talking. This drives me nuts.

asmonet's avatar

Dude, you guys, whatever.
I’m with augustlan.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Chill out dude, its not that we who use dude are trying to detract from the character or standing of something, however when someone says “some dude got toasted in an accident” its because of a lack of familiarity with the person we are talking about. It wouldn’t be any different than saying some guy, or some girl, etc. Also it helps avoid uncomfortable and unecessary attachment to what is just another tragedy that will be repeated timelessly. Now if you are familiar with the person who was in the accident, or what ever situation, like it was your friends dad. You wouldnt say, oh yeah that dude got killed in an accident. That would be some what inapropriate. So the object isn’t to dehumanize, but just to distance yourself from needless drama.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Dude can be used in any connotation. It can be mean, complimentary, radical, bodacious, groovy, boss, and even off the the chain.

Triiiple's avatar

I say it like that.

casheroo's avatar

I call a lot of people dude. It’s not meant to be insulting.

Darwin's avatar

The way my son uses it can be exceedingly insulting. But then, that is why he uses it. Most children know that calling their mother “Dude” in a dismissive tone of voice is not going to win friends or influence anybody to give you what you want.

And yet he persists.

_bob's avatar

I don’t think “Some brother got killed” sounds any better, dude.

Zaku's avatar

Seems to me that dude can be said in negative ways, and perhaps has more capacity for conveying lack of respect due to it’s slangy and casual nature, but as y’all just observed, it isn’t taken that way intrinsically by everyone.

I do know at least one person who was a teen in the 80’s who finds dude and calling women guys to be improper and disrespectful.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’m a woman so I don’t ever enjoy to be called dude in a conversation unless people are so drunk that we’re all talking, ‘dudespeak’.

_bob's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I only call some (female) close friends “dude”, and always in a somewhat jokingly manner. I wouldn’t say “I’m going out on a date with some dude”, for instance.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@bob_ That’s understandable. I might have written instead that “dude” is funny unless said to you by someone you want to see naked.

Nimis's avatar

In the example you gave, I think the word some is what makes it dismissive (and disrespectful).

Some brother was killed…
Some man was killed…

If you keep the word some, it sounds a bit dismissive whether you use dude, brother or man.

To specify with a or this might make it sound less impersonal and flippant.

Some man was killed…
A man was killed…
This man was killed…

wundayatta's avatar

I always thought “dude” was a kind of diminutive, sort of tongue-in-cheek, used to indicate familiarity. Sometimes people say it to you, even when they don’t know you, in order to indicate they don’t mean any harm, or they are friendly even though saying something that could be an insult. (“Take a chill pill, dude!”) Sometimes we shout out “Duuuuuuude!” It indicates we really are happy to see this person, or are feigning happiness, anyway.

I guess that it is a subtle thing. “Dude” can be used as a hidden insult, but it can also indicate a real sense of buddy-ness. When it’s used on me, I generally find myself on guard, because it can be hard for me to tell which way the person saying it means it.

SeventhSense's avatar

Duuuuuuuude, you’re overthinking this one.

wundayatta's avatar

@SeventhSense Dude! Don’t call me “dude,” or I’ll show you what dudes don’t know!

I have no idea what that means, but it sounded good.

SeventhSense's avatar

what dudes don’t know—the mind of a woman

wundayatta's avatar

which raised the question of whether you can actually see the mind of a woman….

No, I didn’t really say that. Nope. Not me. It was that Dude. Over there!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

it sounds as if it’s dismissing someone as ‘just some dude’ if you’re using it in the sense you used in the details…but in general, it’s not insulting at all. it kind of creates a sense of friendliness and familiarity, and i don’t really see anything wrong with it, unless the person saying it obviously intends it to be demeaning.

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