Where Did the Slang Term “Dude” For Another Male Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

The word dude originated as a Victorian slang word for a man who was effeminate.

It’s a variation of dud or duds, from the Arabic word “dudde”, which means cloak, and was a reference to fancy or foppish clothes.

When vain, fashion-conscious city slickers wanted a taste of the West, they went to a Dude Ranch.

The term dude was kept alive by California surfers and took on its current fellowship meaning from a generation weaned on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.