“What’s up, man?”
“You goin’ to the game, man?”
“Man, she is a stone fox.”
Or just, “Hey, man.”
Well, that was the generation into which I was born.
I wasn’t a serial-maner. I didn’t add it to every sentence. But I used “man” more than necessary.
Actually, it was never necessary.
It just added a touch of, well, coolness.
So, there I was, happily muddling through life as a “man” man.
But then it happened, some time in the ‘70’s.
In the 1800s “dude” originally meant a fastidious male. Then, in the early 20th century, it came to mean a city person. “Dude ranches” appeared where city-slickers went to experience country or western living. Then, some time in the 1960s, stoners, surfers and skaters adopted the word and it took off as slang.
When it found its way into popular usage in the ‘70s, I had a decision to make.
Should I remain loyal to “man” or transition to “dude?” (Regrettably, finally growing up and eliminating all of these slang terms was not an option.)
Man, that was a tough decision, dude.
Actually, for me, it wasn’t a tough decision. For some reason, I transitioned smoothly to the world of “dude.”
“What’s up, dude?”
“You goin’ to the game, dude?”
“Dude, she is smokin’ hot.” (By this time, “fox” had faded.)
Or “Hey, dude.” Or just, “dude.”
I liked it. It felt good.
I especially liked that it became unisex. I could still call my dudes, “dude.” But I could also call chicks “dude.”
What a versatile word. I could use it no matter the age, sex, race, religion or national origin of the other person.
But I’m proud to say that, even though I liked “dude” very much, I never got carried away.
I never used terms like “His Dudeness,” “Duder” or “El Duderino.”
Maybe it’s because I liked “dude” so much that I never got into “bro.”
“Bro,” of course, is short for “brother” which I first encountered as a term of racial solidarity that came from the civil rights movement of the late 1960s.
Over time, others of all races co-opted brother or its shorter version, “bro.”
I blame Hulk Hogan for this.
He wasn’t the first white dude to use the term “brother,” but he was the most visible.
It just got worse from there.
I was never tempted to convert from “dude” to “bro.”
O.K., I admit that I thought “bromance” was clever. And “don’t taze me, bro” sounded pretty cool, too.
But the use of “bro” by white dudes always seemed wrong to me. It dishonored the racial pride tradition of “brother.”
Nope, not for me. I was never a “bro” man, dude.
But . . .
Even though its fairly early, I have high hopes for “dawg!”