从1870年代到1960年代，dude主要指的是花花公子（a dandy）或者一个到访农村的时髦世故的城里人（city slicker）。到了1960年代，dude慢慢演变成了一个指代任何人的单词，然后在1970年代逐渐进入主流美式俚语序列。详见文摘“HEY DUDE”。
HEY DUDE 嘿，哥们儿
SLANG RARELY HAS staying power. That is part of its charm; the young create it, and discard it as soon as it becomes too common. Slang is a subset of in-group language, and once that gets taken up by the out-group, it’s time for the in-crowd to come up with something new. So the long life of one piece of American slang, albeit in many different guises, is striking. Or as the kids would say, “Dude!”
Though the term seems distinctly American, it had an interesting birth: one of its first written appearances came in 1883, in the American magazine, which referred to “the social ‘dude’ who affects English dress and the English drawl”. The teenage American republic was already a growing power, with the economy booming and the conquest of the West well under way. But Americans in cities often aped the dress and ways of Europe, especially Britain. Hence dude as a dismissive term: a dandy, someone so insecure in his Americanness that he felt the need to act British. It’s not clear where the word’s origins lay. Perhaps its mouth-feel was enough to make it sound dismissive.
From the specific sense of dandy, dude spread out to mean an easterner, a city slicker, especially one visiting the West. Many westerners resented the dude, but some catered to him. Entrepreneurial ranchers set up ranches for tourists to visit and stay and pretend to be cowboys themselves, giving rise to the “dude ranch”.
By the 1950s or 1960s, dude had been bleached of specific meaning. In black culture, it meant almost any male; one sociologist wrote in 1967 of a group of urban blacks he was studying that “these were the local ‘dudes’, their term meaning not the fancy city slickers but simply ‘the boys’, ‘fellas’, the ‘cool people’.”
From the black world it moved to hip whites, and so on to its enduring associations today—California, youth, cool. In “Easy Rider” (1969) Peter Fonda explains it to the square Jack Nicholson: “Dude means nice guy. Dude means a regular sort of person.” And from this new, broader, gentler meaning, dude went vocative. Young men the world over seem to need some appellation to send across the net at each other that recognises their common masculinity while stopping short of the intimacy of a name. It starts in one country or subculture, and travels outwards. Just as the hippies gave us “man”, and British men are “mate” to one another, so, by the late 1970s or early 1980s, “dude” was filling that role. And all three words are as likely to go at the start of the sentence as the end.
Sean Penn’s surfer-stoner in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982) says “Make up your mind, dude.” By 2000, the vocative use and whiff of stoner culture was firm. The title line of “Dude, Where’s My Car?” is spoken by a character waking up from a big night out. In “baseketball” (1998), the creators of “South Park”, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, play Coop and Remer, two friends having an argument:
COOP: Dude, I’m not gonna cave in! End of story, Dude!
REMER: Dude!... (Coop opens his mouth but says
nothing. Remer continues, firmly) Dude.
COOP: I guess you got a point there.
I am not “Mr Lebowski”. You’re Mr Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.
With his bathrobe and his milk-soaked moustache, the Dude had come a long way from the east-coast dandy of the 1880s.
Now the vocative “Dude!” is mainstream—and no longer just for dudes. Young “dudettes”, as women could once be called, routinely call each other “dude”. And even married couples do it. The first time I heard it leap the gender divide, it was startling; now I find it sweet, somehow even more intimate than “baby”, showing the couple as friends, not just lovers. My wife and I never made a decision to be “dude” to each other, it just fills in the cracks in domestic life: “Dude, you have got to stop leaving the closet light on…”
I knew its journey was complete when my 11-year-old son was trying to grab my attention the other day. “Dude!” he said, as I flailed away at one of his video games, “you’re doing it wrong.”
At first I wanted to say, “I’m not a dude. I’m your dad.” But something stopped me. Dude is now all about solidarity. My son just called me “dude!” It was about the nicest thing he could have said.
- dude ranch （美国西部供游客进行骑马等活动的）度假牧场
- Easy Rider 《逍遥骑士》是由丹尼斯·霍珀执导，彼得·方达、丹尼斯·霍珀主演的一部动作片。影片讲述了两个洛杉矶嬉皮青年留着长发，奇装异服，带着毒品，骑着哈雷机车前往纽澳良寻找朋友。途中，遇到许多形形色色的人，一趟旅程下來，改变了他们许多想法。在参加完一场公墓上吸毒者的聚会之后，向弗罗里达州进发途中，被一个路过的卡车司机莫名其妙的开枪打死。
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High 《开放的美国学府》是由艾米·海克林执导，西恩·潘、詹妮弗·杰森·李、祖德·莱茵霍尔德等领衔主演的爱情喜剧片。影片讲述了喧闹的中学校园里，一群中学生正为了爱情和兼职忙得不可开交的故事。
- baseketball 《棒球》（1998）讲述两个年轻人出好玩，发明一种结合篮球及棒球的游戏，却迅速受到全美国人疯狂的喜爱，也使他们声名大噪。
- The Big Lebowski 《谋杀绿脚趾》是由科恩兄弟执导，杰夫·布里吉斯、约翰·古德曼、朱莉安·摩尔等主演的犯罪喜剧片。影片讲述了绰号“督爷”的勒博斯基勒保斯基，是个无所事事的中年混混，终日最大的消遣就是和两个同样无能的朋友沃特和多尼打保龄球。一日，一群打手把他错认成城里和他同名同姓的那个百万富翁加以威胁，临走还尿在他的地毯上。平白无故吃亏的督爷只好跑去找那个富翁赔偿，未果后自作主张偷了富翁一块地毯。几日后富翁又把督爷找去帮忙，因其年轻妻子邦妮遭到绑架，督爷被要求帮忙送赎金给绑匪，就此和两个朋友一起卷入一场哭笑不得的犯罪事件。。该片于1998年3月6日在美国上映。