Auburn Daily Bulletin, something something, 1891. Vigilante violence against dudes, fully sanctioned by the media.Why can’t everybody just abide and let abide? And why such anger against the dudes ? Are we essentially talking about queer-bashing here, in the light of the definition Meylnda earlier supplied?
Thanks to the due diligence of Dudespaper (q.v.), I bring you glad tidings of etymological certitude:
“The key to the etymology of the long troublesome *dude* lies in the May 1883 article in *Clothier and Furnisher,* vol. 13, no. 10, pp. 27-28—already reprinted in Com, on Et., April 1997, pp. 2-3. Here is that article once again.
‘DEFINITION OF THE WORD DUDE
‘In answer to a correspondent, the editor of the New York Journal of Commerce says that it is impossible to give an “exact definition” of the word “dude” that shall express the various ideas in the minds of those who use it. It is not exactly slang, but has not rooted itself in the language and has not, therefore, a precise and accepted meaning. The word pronounced in two syllables as if spelled “dood-y” has been in occasional use in some New England towns for more than a score of years. It was probably born as a diminutive of dandy, and applied to the feeble personators of the real fop. It was employed to describe a young man who had nothing particular in him but an alimentary canal, but who was very careful of his exterior adornment, especially in the tie of his cravat, the selection of his watch chain and appendages, the curl of his hair, and the fit of his trousers; one who eschewed not only all useful occupations, but also any violent exer cise; who was too languid in his manner to speak with anything but a drawl or a lisp; who affected special refinement, but lacked the chief essentials of manliness. In the last year or two the name, now generally sounded to rhyme with rude, has been applied to one who, in addition to the characteristics we [p. 28] have described, makes a feeble attempt to imitate the manners of some effeminate young nobleman about whom he has read in a foreign novel, but turns out to be only an emasculated penny edition of the despicable character he is trying to copy. The name is doubtless applied in familiar speech and in the press to some who have not all the essential features we have drawn; whatever may be the variations, there is one attribute common to all — they exist without any effort to recompense the world for their living.’