People routinely call each other “dude,” yet most people have no idea where it came from or what it even means. In fact, it dates back to around the mid to late 1800’s and was originally meant to refer to a city person in the country that was ignorant of local ways.
Americans were called Yankee Doodles, and although historians aren’t sure where that originated, they are fairly certain that the word dude came from ignorant people from cities being called “doods.”
The word was also used by ranchers and cowboys to refer to wealthy city folk who ventured west in complete ignorance of the customs and climate.
As the years passed, the term would mostly likely have just faded away had it not been for Oscar Wilde writing of the American “dudes” he encountered with extremely snobbish “attitudes, ” which is also a hypothesis for the origin of the word.