"Dude"=Elephant butt hair?

I have heard that the word “dude” means a hair on an elephant’s butt. Specifically an infected one. Is there any truth to this statment? A web search found one of those lists of “facts.” I searched snopes and found nothing.

Pussed out butt hair…HEHEHE. I hope,hope,hope it’s true dude!

I heard it was a reference to a horse’s (or donkey’s) boy parts.

Years ago I heard that ‘dudes’ were an elephant’s anal hairs. If was a long time before I could hear someone say “Dude!” without snickering :).

What I want to know is why an infected elephant ass hair needs a name of its own? And wouldn’t “Infected Elephant Ass Hair” be a cool name for a band?

I also had heard the rumor that it is a horse’s private anatomy. The dictionary sites lend no evidence to either…I think they’re just widespread rumors, of which two variants developed.


The story I remember hearing (and of course, I’ve no idea where) is that the hairs from an elephant’s butt are particularly strong and soft, and so were imported into Europe for use in painter’s brushes. The word came to be associated with something soft and delicate, and then came to be associated with people who are soft and delicate. Hence “Dude Ranch” where pampered city slickers went to experience the wild west. Somehow the meaning mutated again, becoming someone vaguely cool.

I’ve no idea if the above story is true or not.

Dude was originally a slang term in 1880’s New York. From the OED:

One possibility is that dude came from dud, meaning “an article of clothing.” The dude of “dude ranch” probably comes from well-dressed Easterners taking a vacation on ranches. During the 1930s, dude came to mean a generic “guy,” leading eventually to surfer lingo. The Word Detective has an article on dude.

It’s funny how a dude was originally a fancy dresser to today’s sense of dude as more of the slacker type.

Let’s try that link again: =http://www.word-detective.com/back-k2.html#dude"]dude

Boy, I’m doing pretty well here. One more time, and this time I’ll preview.


Yay! It worked.