Monday, July 13, 2009

"What's up, Dude?"

Its been more than a month since I joined my organization, and it's been good so far. Wherever I go, I always happen to notice the way people talk, there usually is a common pattern that they follow. Likewise, I've been observing the dialect of the people here, one of them being the excessive usage of, "Typically", "Dude" and "What's up". It's something you pick up just by being a part of the company. I always avoid picking up such words to avoid being tagged as a stereotype, not always successful at that though. I remember having a hard time holding myself back from saying the F word when it was an overused word of the vocabulary of most people all around me. I don't understand why people use such words so often though, in places where it's really not required. Maybe it just gets passed on.

Some people just adopt that in their daily lingo because they hear it being used frequently. Others just do it to be a part of the clan, many of them do it to sound "cool", irrespective of whether they know what it means, or if they can even pronounce it. Most of them would say "Dooodh" (milk) for "Dude" and walk away feeling like they are the coolest of the bunch. It's okay to say it casually out of habit, but it's noticeable when they are trying to put on something.

Dude is a slang term used to refer to a friend or partner. The term dude generally

refers to a man; the female equivalent, "dudette" is used less often. However, "dude" has evolved to encompass both genders. Dude is a slang word, and this was true even in the 1950s, when the word was used in its more traditional sense.

Historically, the word usually has been used as a noun describing a type of man, or as an interjection. The tone and inflection of the word "dude" are used to convey the various meanings. For example, someone may be a "surfer dude." "Dude" is considered to be slang, similar to the phrase "man".

"Dude" is also used alone in a sentence as an interjection denoting a feeling of surprise, happiness, disappointment, amazement or other emotions. As an interjection, a short, clipped "dude!" might be used to convey annoyance with someone, while a long, drawn-out "duuuude" conveys amazement. The word might also be used almost anywhere in a sentence in order to convey such sentiments in conversation, as in, "Listen, dude, we have to go."

Other, older definitions include those of a well-dressed male, or one who is unfamiliar with life outside a large city. These definitions may go hand-in-hand, hence the phrased definition "an Easterner in the West" (United States).

Over a period of time, the excessive use of such words completely changes the meaning of the word itself! The F word, for instance, can mean a lot of things now, and not just the activity you perform in bed.

"What's up" is taking the same course. It has replaced "Hey", or "Hi" now. I see people passing by each other everyday saying "What's up?". Most of them don't even wait for the other person to respond, as if they don't really give a damn to what's really up!! I usually reply by "nothing much, what's up with you?". Some try to be funny by saying "The ceiling, duhh!!" , or "The sky!" or even "Why don't you look for yourself!!".

This one can leave you thinking why you even asked the person in the first place -- "Nothing much, just broke my arm last week while I was away on vacation climbing the Everest. And oh yes, my dad's blood report came in. The old fella's got cancer. I'm on my way to work now, gotta complete some formalities, just got fired you see. What's up with you?"

It has taken different forms too-- "Whaddup!!" , "Wassa" , "Whazzup", the most concise version being "Sup!"

Contrary to the popular belief
that the phrase is derived from the the famous catchphrase 'Whats'up, Doc?' of the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, it is not. The first referance to 'whatsup' can be found in a short story The adventures of Shamrock Jolnes
from Sixes and Sevens (1911) by acclaimed American short story writer O' Henry (September 11, 1862 - June 5, 1910) when the character Shamrock Jolnes says, "Good morning, Whatsup".

Bugs Bunny made its first appearance in 'A Wild Hare' on 27 July 1940, many years after the publishing of the book 'Sixes and Sevens'. However it can be said the phrase was made popular by Bugs Bunny.

Jack London's The Sea Wolf 1904, page 157 "what's up" I asked Wolf Larson


Some slangs/words are used so frequently that they get added to the dictionary over the years."Google" for instance was used so much ("to google up for" means "to search for something on Google") that it got added to the Oxford English Dictionary and Webster's Dictionary as a verb.

However much we try not to use them, we always find ourselves using them some time or the other. I remember a time when I used "sexy" as an adjective for everything right from a hard-bound notebook I had bought from A1 stores to the new Google Chrome interface! Can't help it really, can you dude? :P


AJAY said...

This is called "cliche on banality".
The cure to get used to DUDE is watch "The Big Lebowski"
The panacea for 'F' is to join a community called "I use 'F' fifty times a day and I am still classic.

'Wass up?' is directly attractive to what's down? Dunno what that comes up to, but still just wrote it....

Anyways, All Well, you well find more of them as the days come...

Note-you write good re, Nice use of punctuation and such usage promts a lunatic like me to shout "WTF" why can't I be that patient with special symbols...

Abhishek Bhat said...

In the US, "howz it goin" is a pretty common way of greeting. A typical conversation is:
A: Howz it goin??
B: Pretty good. How bout u?
A: Not bad

I've actually not heard what up being used as much in the US.

Urban Stranger said...

fantastic observation and luvd the way you have written the whole thing, even da bugs bunny reference is too good. all in all nice work " dudette ".

Harsh said...

According to Uncyclopedia >>>

"Well, this sounds like a good place to start, dude. The word dude is normally used to describe just about anyone who exists in the known universe, except for "The Man". However, this is the wrong usage for the word. According to the dictionary of dudes, a dude is a guy, a normal, a surfer, a skater, a beach bum, or somethin, who generally doesn't care about much other than some stuff, normally like music and chicks and the beach and stuff. Normally bro, dudes aren't over 30, but once in a while you can find a dude pushing 40. But dude, under no circumstances can a business man be a dude, cause its just undudely, y'know" ..... ROFL !!!

JD said...

"Duuuude"! :P This was a "chai time topic" for me and my friend.we wer trying to figure out that y most of us prefer to have a little 4 line conversation these days (from watsup-nm, u say-nothing much u c-ok, to see that u took the effort to blog it and upgrade my knowledge ;)

PS- I'll let him know the real meaning of "watsup" this weekend, saying "I found it", hope u dnt mind me taking a lil' chai ka sawal hai yaar! ;)


Akash said...

using 'DHOODH' for 'dude' n think it as cool, so funny it is...

sakhi said...

So, what's up dude???? :D :D

Calvin Pereira said...

dudette, great write-up :)~

Chiranjib said...

Great post. Yes, we do get caught up among stereotypes and behave like one. Only a very conscious attempt at avoidance may really bear fruit. However, this post stands out sheerly because of the thought put in. Well done!!! :)

Anonymous said...

'Food' is my favourite 4 letter F word. What's yours? :)

Anubha said...


Oh, I thought it originated from the US !! :D

@Urban Stranger
Thanks "Dude" ;)

"But dude, under no circumstances can a business man be a dude, cause its just undudely, y'know"
Haahaahaa... LMAO :D

Glad my post helped in some way! :) I obviously don't mind!
Chaai ke liye kuch bhi sahi ! ;)

Hehe..thanks! :)

Yayyyy.. a comment from you after so longgg!! :)
I don't understand why your office hates my blog :P

@Calvin Pereira
Thanks "sirfcalvin" :P :P

Yes, I had to make conscious attempts not to say the F word !! It's not easy...true!!
And thanks! :)

Hmm.. I don't know.. FRIENDS ?? That's 7 letters long.

Reema said...

dhoodh for dude!! LOL

Anubha said...

hehe :D

Anonymous said...

hey just came across your blog.. In US, they use these words often like we use "yaar" in hindi to address someone and what's up is a means of greeting here.. Like we say "Namaskar" or "how are you", they use "howz it going.. good?" etc.. In India, I guess people pick up most of the slangs from movies..

Anubha said...

Welcome to my blog! :)
Yes, I too think Indians are adapting the ways and lingo of the Americans. It's okay sometimes if you do it out of habit or out of hearing it too often around you. But some fools just say it on purpose to sound "cool" and that really irritates me!

ADITYA said...

That too good n too much of research behind "Dude"..

loved the post!!

yeah i too had difficult time "Shift+DELETE"ing 'sexy' from vocab..

remember my grand-ma's expression when i first used d word infront of her.. hahaha

Anubha said...

Haahaa.. true! :D
My dad had more-or-less the same expression when I said it!!! :D

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend the best Remote Management & Monitoring software for a small IT service company like mine? Does anyone use or How do they compare to these guys I found recently: [url=] N-able N-central remote windows login
[/url] ? What is your best take in cost vs performance among those three? I need a good advice please... Thanks in advance!