The Sh– To Just Sh–ty… The Epithet, Douchebag

"Allow me to introduce you to such vile things!"

Ever see the movie Nacho Libre?  My friend recently told me his young sons love it, but it bothers him because it uses two bad words: floozy and douche.

I thought that was funny.  No matter the misnomer, kids absorb it like a @##$% sucks up *&@%$ on a Tuesday.

This got me thinking about the etymology of the word – specifically douchebag – and how it’s beginning to feel like its power is waning.  And I’m not suggesting that those people being dubbed one are accepting it, like how the cast of Jersey Shore adored being called guidos.  It’s just that it seems like everybody’s a douchebag these days, and they can’t all be one, can they?

Maybe.

According to the always reliable Wikipedia, the feminine hygiene product became an insult in the 1960’s.  According to Stephen King (or the other screenwriters), the word was well into play by September 1959.

From Stand By Me:

Chris: Yeah. So lets just say that I stole the milk money but old lady Simons stole it back from me. Suppose I told the story. Me, Chris Chambers, kid brother to Eyeball Chambers. Do you think anyone would have believed it?
Gordie: No.
Chris: And do you think that that bitch would have dared try something like that if it had been one of those douchebags from up on the View, if they had taken the money?
Gordie: No way!

The meteoric rise in this useful word’s, um, use has to deal with either one of two things:

  1. The website Hot Chicks with Douchebags level of popularity.
  2. The meteoric rise in the level of douchebags.

My biggest fear is that by throwing around this word so willy-nilly (a phrase that has earned tons of power from disuse), douchebag will become as dull as idiot, moron, or crystal and clear in the early 90’s.

In closing, here’s an excerpt from an insightful article on Overthinking It.  Author (a.k.a. blogger) mlawski posits:

Douches = tools of the patriarchy
Douchebags = patriarchal tools
“Douchebag” = not offensive to women

“Patriarchal tools,” hmm?  Well, there are plenty of them around.  Tons you might say…

…I guess the term douchebag isn’t going anywhere…

…just like the douchebags themselves.

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