Social Question

ninjacolin's avatar

How would you explain the "douchebag" metaphor?

Asked by ninjacolin (14224points) March 21st, 2010

how does it make sense to call someone a douche? how is the slang term relevant to the type of person it describes?

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30 Answers

Trillian's avatar

I think that it just sounds nasty. We have disposable douches now and most women don’t keep a douchebag hanging up in their bathrooms but considering the purpose of the object, I think that must be how it came about.
Even the word “douche” just sounds unpleasant. And the addition of the word “bag” to any other word seems like emphasis to me. People say ho’ bag, dirt bag… it’s just for emphasis.

janbb's avatar

The way I take it you’re saying someone is only useful for washing out your private parts with.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I just laugh at how sophmoric it is.
I think it might be a Jersey thing.

anartist's avatar

@Trillian I don’t know why it “sounds” nasty, other than your associations. “Douche” just means “shower” in French.

Cruiser's avatar

Douchebag was and still is popular around here not only for the obvious nasty connotation but because it is 2 syllables and very versatile in how you can employ it when cutting someone down. Hey “Doooooch Bag” or “Duche-Baaaaaag” or the abbreviated “hey Douche!”.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Related to that, why would we (men, anyway) call a nasty person “a dick”? I don’t think of my little guy that way. He’s quite a pleasing companion, even if he is sort of stupid.

escapedone7's avatar

Enema bag just doesn’t sound as cool.

anartist's avatar

@CyanoticWasp or “dickhead” or, even odder, “dickweed”

anartist's avatar

@escapedone7 but it’s much grosser. What about good ol’ “scumbag”?

cazzie's avatar

We say ‘dusj’ as well for shower (sounds the same, spelled different). So it sounds very odd. I think recent thinking is that these female cleansers are not healthy to use and are a bit outdated. So, my fav insult for something that is useless is tits on a bull.
‘He’s as useless as tits on a bull.’ I think it has a nice tone to it. ;o)

Coloma's avatar

What I have always found interesting & disturbing is WHY the most derogatory slang terminology about WOMEN and their sexuality is re-directed into insults against MEN! ???

Why is it that the worst thing you can call a man is a PUSSY????

TheBot's avatar

@Trillian Interesting how the use of bag as an emphasis is common to different cultures. In France for example, we use the terms “sac à foutre” (literally cum bag) and “sac à merde” (shit bag) very commonly.

Zaku's avatar

@Coloma It’s emasculating. The poets invoking such things are reaching for extremes of anti-machismo.

Imagining thought process: Like, he’s not just a girl… he’s not just a girl’s privates… he’s not just a gratuitous hygiene product for washing a girl’s privates… in fact, he’s the bag for holding a gratuitous hygiene product for washing a girl’s privates. That’s what he’s good for, if anything. That’s how masculine he is.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m beginning to think that the best rejoinder to “You’re a pussy!” is “Yeah, well you’re a moderator.”

I wonder how long this one’ll last.

anartist's avatar

@Coloma interesting variant with different connotations is to call him a bitch. A sort of nice blending of the two is to say “he’s got the rag on”

Silhouette's avatar

I wouldn’t, it’s self explanatory.

anartist's avatar

@TheBot “shit bag” is popular here too—it just lacks the derogatory sexual twist. Scumbag actually can cover for a variety of unappealing bags. But a bigger issue is why the woman-related words are generally accepted as such an extreme insult to men whereas the reverse doe3s not apply. It seems to go back to a male-dominant cultural model.

TheBot's avatar

@anartist Perhaps, but it may also be because women have in the last 50+ years taken on more and more formerly male-only rights, attributes, attitudes. The right to vote, access to jobs other than secretary and full-time mom, sports, pants, suits, cars, motorcycles etc etc. Because of this general movement towards a more “unisex” female form, and because the opposite has not happened with men, this may explain why calling a woman manly is relatively not as insulting as calling a man womanly. Because in many ways, women of today are more indeed more “manly” than in the past, and are also more manly than men are womanly. Does that make sense?

Trillian's avatar

@anartist Yeah. It’s just me.
@thebot Here’s another similarity you reminded me of, and that’s “sack of shit”. I think the third syllable adds even more emphasis. We take the time to call someone a sack of shit and when i think about it, it seems to add even more emphasis. We’re lazy in our speech here and we abbreviate and shorten words down as a matter of course, so taking the time to actually add a syllable indicates an increased expression of whatever the feeling is we’re expressing. He’s a shit as opposed to a piece of shit or sack of shit. Hmmm. I may look into that at the end of this semester if I remember and get a bit of time.

Sarcasm's avatar

Nobody wants to be a douchebag because girls never want them in the vajayjay. It’s like being the kid who’s picked last in gym class.
Also because douches are used for cleaning out bacterium and ejaculate. Nobody wants to be part of that.

Nobody wants to be a pussy, because pussies get fucked. see team america, NSFW language.

gemiwing's avatar

Because they don’t help anyone, they’re filled with vinegar, they don’t do what they advertise and they’re disposable.

lillycoyote's avatar

I was able to find this Douchebag is number 4, at the bottom of the page. Don’t know if he’s right, but it sounds pretty good to me.

galileogirl's avatar

It is only used by men who fear and thus hate women and only see them as disposible receptacles. We call those men IDIOTS!

anartist's avatar

@TheBot Women have sought and won those things to free themselves of sexist limitations. Men have never sought out the more limited world formerly the purview of women.

TheBot's avatar

@anartist Yes, that’s very true.

augustlan's avatar

@CyanoticWasp As a mod, I say “Hmpf.” :/

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@augustlan… well, it was a bad early afternoon. I thought the modded quips were cogent and thoughtful, not just snarky and nasty. (There was that element, though.)

I’ll call a truce. In fact, I won’t even mind if you mod out that more or less uncalled-for comment.

anartist's avatar

@CyanoticWasp @augustlan I would mind. It was funny.

augustlan's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I wouldn’t dream of it. :D

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