How Many Wyomingites Know What ‘Dude’ Used To Mean?
Dude was a slang term for typically men. Some of us, however, even in Wyoming, had the opposite idea of what dude used to mean.
Maybe we thought “Dude," was about being manly. “Dude Ranch” was just a phrase first coined at the famous Eaton Ranch in Wolf, Wyoming, but, the meaning has had to morph back toward the masculine. At the time, it was a joke among westerners. Dude has been through multiple generations according to wikipedia.
From the 1870s to the 1960s, he was a person who dressed real fashionably - once also called a dandy - or citified. Dude was a visitor in rural areas, but mostly he stuck out - like a city slicker. In the 1960s, dude became more mainstream slang, and would conjure our more Jack Palance kind of aura, instead of Billy Crystal. A hundred years before, however, a dude was no cowboy. He could even dress like this guy.
Are you one who always thought a dude was a stout man – a Marlboro man? Well the word was actually to denote ill-bred and ignorant, but ostentatious, and from the city. In short, dude ranches were to cater to urbanites, and that usage was still in use in the 1950s. It was more uncomplimentary, like our Wyoming word, touron (tourist/moron).
Dude later became prominent in surfer culture, used informally, more like, “Dude, I’m glad you called.” It can refer to another person,“That dude is stealing my car.” Really informal is finally just, "DUDE!"