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josie's avatar

What is the origin of the word "dickweed"?

Asked by josie (30926points) August 15th, 2010

I know that it is the same as asshole, loser etc. And I do not hear it as often as I used to. But I have always wondered where it came from. When was the first time it appeared? Where?

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11 Answers

wilma's avatar

I always heard it as “dickwad”. That seems a little more, “self explanatory”.

wundayatta's avatar

According to this, the OED says:

dickweed, n.

slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.). derogatory.

Brit. /dkwid/, U.S. /dkwid/ [< DICK n.1 + WEED n.1]

A stupid, obnoxious, or contemptible person (esp. a man).

1984 J. ALGEO in J. E. Lighter Hist. Dict. Amer. Slang (1994) I. 586/2 [Campus slang.] Dickweed. 1986 C. MATHESON & E. SOLOMON Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (film script) 52 You killed Ted, you Medieval dick-weed! 1992 O. GOLDSMITH First Wives Club I. i. 23 It would be a pleasure to wake that dickweed up early. 2001 S. KING Dreamcatcher vi. 195 Come on, you dickweed.

According to, it was coined in the 1980s.

1. Recent coinage (1980s) for the female pubic-hair and area. See vagina for synonyms.
2. Rude insult for a despised or despicable male.

Austinlad's avatar

Richardweed or Richardwad takes too long to say.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

While I strongly doubt this is the origin to the term “dickweed” in the sense you mean, there is a plant (Halogeton glomeratus) that has in the past been referred to as dickweed or weiner-leaf.

citizenearth's avatar

You can get information from

tassiefubar's avatar

Hi everyone.
I can verify the origin of “Dickweed”.
In 1975 I was on a trail bike trip with 2 mates in the highlands of Tasmania. We were camped beside Lake Sorell. After a hard day’s riding in which we were witness to and had survived a multitude stupid stunts we decided to invent a derogoratory word to describe one so foolish.In the context of the times we were constrained to keep it rather tame…....but a little edgy.

rudersw123's avatar

I have been searching to find the origins of dickweed for some time, having caused a huge argument with friends when I revealed to them that I am highly probably the author of the word dickweed. Can this be traced back to Boston somehow? If anyone else remembers, do chime in, but I’m 99% certain I made it up on a sailing lesson 30 minutes from Framingham, Massachusetts in 1983–4. Anyone with insight let me know! I utterly refute tassiefubar’s claim that he got it sorted in 1975. Back then you’d be lucky to string douche and cheese into a lazily funny concatenation ;)

ta243's avatar

“Dickweed” refers to a person, (male or female) who is basically useless for any reasonable purpose, as is a weed. The word refers to the person being a product of their fathers dick. I actually coined this term in late July of 1972 to refer to a friend of mine who had, and still has very little value beyond entertainment at drunken melees. I do not consider this a great achievement by any means, and if others want to take credit for this term, they are more than welcome.

r31416's avatar

Actually I invented the term in 1969. Weeds are not wanted in a garden, so the addressee of the terms is nothing but n unwanted spawn of his or her parents’ coitus.

The above claims for originality are quite valid, no doubt the term was coined more than once.

BlindSquirrel's avatar

Ottoman Dietz was born Castor Dietz in Chesterfield county, Virginia, just south of Richmond, on January 1, 1948. His first mention comes in a letter his mother wrote to her mother shortly after his birth in which she said that they had “totally missed the boat on this one,” which led a short while later to his three siblings (Zeiman, Seymour, and The Anonymous Albanian), but Castor did show signs both of the visionary spirit and a determination to misuse that spirit early on, when, at the age of eight, he petitioned Virginia’s eastern district court to allow him to change his first name from Castor to Ottoman. His parents objected, and one can see from their arguments that they were themselves staunch Southern traditionalists. They offered the dual rationales that Castor was a fine, family name and Castor himself was “a boy, and not even out of his short pants.” Castor asserted that he would prefer that his name be associated with a swashbuckling former empire and a piece of furniture that is a visible sign of luxury and relaxation rather than with some old Greek twin in a second-rate myth whose part of the story didn’t turn out too well, anyway, and a medicinal oil that no one associates with anything fun or exotic at all and besides, it tastes “yucky” and used to come from the dried perineal glands of beavers. Virginia’s eastern district court was a feisty bunch; this was the same court that several years later told Virginia’s governor J. Lyndsay Almond to “suck it” [NAACP v. Button, 1963] when he tried to close the state’s public schools rather than de-segregating them, but it was a slow week, and the court, never having heard the part about the beavers, granted the request, with the majority opinion writing, “Furniture and a fez? Sure. Why not?”[Dietz v. Dietz, 1956] Eminent legal scholars have confirmed that the ruling also includes the first recorded use of the word “dickweed” as a pejorative, in reference to the dissenting justice and his opinion.

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