Monday, August 3, 2009

What’s With All the Douchebags?

I’m a little confused. What is it with the word “Douchebag”? I have been hearing it all over lately, even on the radio. I thought it was maybe some random midwestern thing, and then I received a link to the following clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
So You Think You Can Douche
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Just in case you may not know what a douchebag ACTUALLY is—the REAL definition—here is Merriam Webster’s take:

Merriam-Webster Online
Etymology: French, from Italian doccia, from docciare to douche, from doccia water pipe, probably back-formation from doccione conduit, from Latin duction-, ductio means of conveying water, from ducere to lead
Date: 1766
1 a : a jet or current of liquid (as a cleansing solution) directed against or into a bodily part or cavity (as the vagina) b : an act of cleansing with a douche
2 : a device for giving douches
3 British : an abrupt often chastening shock to the nerves, emotions, or awareness --the icy douche (what he said about my work) — John Fowles

Knowing what we all now know, what in the world does it mean when someone calls someone else a douchebag? Since this term is being used in the pejorative, I wonder what is so bad about a bag full of cleansing fluids? Or, to be precise, is the bag empty or full? Is it worse to be an empty douchebag or a full one? Does this matter when using the slang version?

Since knowing the true definition of the word doesn’t help me understand the slang definition any better, I turned to Wikipedia, and this is what I found:

A douche is a device used to introduce a stream of water into the body for medical or hygienic reasons, or the stream of water itself.

Douche usually refers to vaginal irrigation, the rinsing of the vagina, but it can also refer to the rinsing of any body cavity. A douche bag is a piece of equipment for douching—a bag for holding the fluid used in douching.

Etymology: The word "douche" comes from the French language, in which its principal meaning is a shower (it is thus a notorious “false friend” encountered by non-native speakers of English; the French phrase for vaginal douching is douche vaginale, meaning vaginal shower).

Slang: Douchebag, or simply douche, is considered to be a pejorative term in North America, the United Kingdom and some other English speaking countries. In some English speaking countries the term is not well known. The slang usage of the term dates back to the 1960s. The term implies a variety of negative qualities, specifically arrogance and engaging in obnoxious and/or irritating actions without malicious intent. It is generally used for males only.

Okay, but then how in the world did arrogance or obnoxiousness become associated with either the action of douching or any equipment that might be necessary to perform the activity? I genuinely find that to be very confusing. Thinking that perhaps Wikipedia was ill informed in their definition, I turned to the ultimate slang resource: The Urban Dictionary.

Urban Dictionary
1. a word to describe an individual who has shown himself to be very brainless in one way or another, thus comparing him to the cleansing product for vaginas.

3. Actual - (Adj) A person who is a waste of oxygen; an idiot. Also used to describe a male / female (N) that won't let you run your game. To act in a ridiculous manner; embarrassing (V).

So now I need to know, am I douche if I don’t know what it means to “run your game”? I might interfere with your game without even knowing about it because I have no idea what this means. Is it only a purposeful interference with your game that defines a douche or am I a douche even if I am completely innocent with regard to intent? And why would it be embarrassing to ME to prevent you from running your game? This definition leaves me more confused than ever before. And having attempted to digest those definitions, I find that there is a DIFFERENCE between a douche and a douchebag.

1. Someone who has surpassed the levels of jerk and asshole, however not yet reached fucker or motherfucker. Not to be confused with douche.

6. An individual who has an over-inflated sense of self worth, compounded by a low level of intelligence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.

And just when I thought that there was a consensus on the whole stupidity/lack of intelligence angle, I came across the following definition (on the same website):

5. What used to be accurate on this site was replaced by a bunch of people who defined it because they really had no clue what it meant. A douchebag is a pretentious, sugar coated prick, but with emphasis on pretentious and sugar coated. It's not an adjective for an asshole, because assholes call other people douchebags, and assholes are more often than not proud of being assholes.

If you know me at all, you will know that I cannot stand to have misspellings or incorrect grammar published to my blog, so I have fixed many incorrect spellings and poor grammar in nearly ALL of the above definitions. This leads me to believe that maybe the folks that are posting entries to this website are not the smartest people in the world. Does that mean that any douchebag can post their definition to The Urban Dictionary? And, if so, does this make the entries douchy? Apparently not, according, again, to the Urban Dictionary:

1. when someone is being difficult or just plan stank. "Douche bag-ish" if you will.

Whatever. In the end, it comes down to this; I am just not a fan of the word. It doesn’t have the proper connotation in my mind, with one possible exception-

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Tango daddy said...

I agree entirely that is not a word I ever use.
A simple Dipshit Asshat always seems more appropriate.

ksliberal said...

You always have the right words, Tango Daddy. I like Asshat WAY better. Thanks!