The Internet Ruined “Dude”

Illustration for article titled The Internet Ruined “Dude”
Illustration: Jim Cooke (G/O Media)

Today, we’re talking about un-Googleable band names, your groin, mustard-drenched testicles, and more.


Your letters:


Hi Drew - can you rank the alternatives to calling someone “dude”? E.g. bro, bud, buddy, pal, boss, man, bossman, guy, big guy, etc.? Any fresh ideas? Are they all bad? I’m worried that my unconscious adoption of “what’s up boss” in the past year or so has made me super guido by accident.

What about HOSS instead of boss? Just swagger into the saloon twirling your six-shooter and yell, “Barkeep? I’ll take four fingers of rye, hoss!” Everyone will think you’re the coolest!

I actually don’t think you have a lot of bad options for generic nicknames when you’re face-to-face with someone else. “Man” never goes out of the style, man. It does the job. I still use it. I still use dude. Some of my friends use bro and I don’t even mind that. When it sounds natural, it is natural. Sometimes you find yourself amongst true bros, and that’s no crime, broseph. If you wanna de-fratify it by 60 percent, just use the full “brother.” Unless you’re white and you’re talking to a black dude. Then the whole exchange turns into an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here are some other alternatives for you:

AMIGO. I use “amigo” a lot, Jim Anchower style. Lets everyone know I’m friendly but that I also like to party. Sometimes I pull up for a second if I’m using it with a Hispanic friend, because I don’t want him to think I’m using “amigo” just for Hispanic people. EVERYONE is my amigo. Except for Tim Marchman, who can burn in hell. I also sometimes wonder if I should use “amiga” if I happen to be addressing a muchacha, just to get my Spanish grammar down right. I never bother.

OLD FRIEND. Makes you feel like a Cockney mob henchman being roped back into one final smash-n-grab. Also, it tells the friend in question that they’re not just ANY friend. You and your old friend, you go WAY back. All the way back to, like, 2013! You’ve been through so much and read so many tweets together. I’ve been using that phrasing a lot since I almost died a year ago, because… well because I would have died if not for my old friends. Calling an old friend an old friend makes me smile.

HANDSOME. Who doesn’t like being called handsome, besides one half of the world population, plus anyone who doesn’t speak English and therefore doesn’t understand what the word means? I like being called Handsome mostly because I am not.


MOTHERFUCKER. What is UP, motherfucker? You’re with a buddy. Why bother being warm and affectionate? Just get straight to the roasting with asshole, asswipe, fucko, fucker, shithead, shitbird, motherfucker, dickbrain, and such and such. No shortage of options at your disposal for ritual, cursory shit-giving. When you’re face-to-face with a friend, they instinctively know you’re a friend no matter how you address them.

Greeting people online, however, completely alters the context of those monikers, especially dude. Twitter ruined dude. The second someone in my mentions starts off with a “Dude,” I already know I’m dealing with a shithead. “Dude, cars kill people but they’re not outlawed so dude, spare me the gun control takes.” Everyone turns Minnesotan online, using warm nicknames to garnish their passive aggressive bullshit. It’s an easy way to lure people into thinking you’re ABOUT to be friendly and that you care, when you’re not and you don’t. “Dude, rethink this tweet.” I’M NOT YOUR DUDE, GUY! You have to earn your dude status with me and you just BLEW it. You are a motherfucker, and not in the good way. You literally fuck your mom.


Same goes for starting off a tirade with BRO or BREH or BRUH or BRUDE or whatever. If you’re gonna be a dick online—and I have been for over a decade now, which obviously makes me a respected veteran of the Being Way Too Online community—just be a dick. Don’t bother trying to look considerate when you’re about to lecture someone else about why the Confederate Flag is a symbol a pride for all Americans. If Bill & Ted went on the Internet in 2019, everyone would think they were complete dicks.

I want dude back. The Internet ruined ruin it, even more so than kids at my grade school who claimed that a DUDE was actually the medical term for an ingrown butt hair. Turns out they LIED. Dude!



Is water wet? I’ve been having heated arguments with co-workers for about two months now and it’s split almost 50-50 between wet or not wet. I for one think anyone who says water isn’t wet is a fucking idiot but what do I know. What say you?


Water is wet. I assume the opposing argument is that wet things are imbued WITH water. But, I mean, that’s also true of water. Water is positively soaked in water. So I’m not gonna truther the cliché. I need it for when there’s a flag thrown in an NFL game. “This game set a record for holding calls. In other news, water be wet, my dudes.” Still works.

Thirty years from now we’ll be incinerated by plumes of volcanic ash enveloping the atmosphere and everyone will still be too busy online being like, “Can it be sunny if you’re ON the sun?” to notice that the Apocalypse has begun in earnest.



Do you pronounce it “groyn” or “gro-in” ? Which is correct? What types of people, from where, say it which way?


Wait, people out there pronounce it “gro-in”? Who? That’s fucking stupid. I’ll argue this until the world ends, I will! “Growin’” applies to a DIFFERENT part down there, folks HEY-OOOOOOOOOOO.

Is this some telltale sign of the Philly accent that no one outside of Philly gives a shit about? This comes across as Philly horseshit. That accent is made up anyway.


I have lived a hilariously sheltered existence, living almost exclusively in the whitest parts of the Midwest, Northeast, and now the mid-Atlantic. But I have gone to, like, other places on occasion. In those travels, I’ve never heard anyone pronounce groin any way other than GROYN. Not even DJ Khaled. Not even aggro Southerners. Dude, I’m hoping your question is just imaginary.


How come nobody ever talks about Real Sports? I started watching it maybe five years ago. It’s by far my favorite show on TV. This week’s segment on the All Blacks in New Zealand, Sonny Bill Williams, mass shootings, white supremacy, and the nationwide Haka peace dance, was epic TV. I read multiple sports websites, listen to podcasts, read the news, etc. Nothing about Real Sports. What am I missing? The episode that hooked me was the one about Dominique Moceanu (the gold medal-winning gymnast) and Jen Bricker (the gymnast with no legs) finding out they were sisters.


[Bill Simmons voice] How come I’m the only person who’s noticing this show?!

I’m sure you could find people to chat about Real Sports if you’re in dire need of a water cooler fix. It’s on HBO. It almost certainly gets a viewership in the six or seven figures. Wouldn’t be hard to track down a fellow Gumbelhead if you wanted to. If you still think that 60 Minutes, But Sports isn’t PENETRATING THE DISCOURSE the way it ought to, I think there are some obvious reasons.


1. It’s already on a fucking huge TV network, and so no one online has to talk it up in order to get other people to pay attention. Getting on TV is the end goal of being online. If your shit is already there, well then you’ve cut out the middleman. No one in my online orbit talks about The Big Bang Theory, either. The Big Bang Theory is the most lucrative sitcom in history.

2. Real Sports still employs Bernie Goldberg, so fuck them.

3. Bill Maher is too busy hijacking trending topics by claiming that vaccines are evil because they’ll make you a Muslim on a different HBO show.


4. Real Sports a news program, and a fairly sober one at that. When it comes to HBO shows, people would much rather talk about the scripted series. You can’t concoct elaborate fan theories about what happens to Pete Rose in the NEXT episode of Real Sports. Shows like Real Sports and E:60—the latter of which also ripped off the 60 Minutes magazine format—usually only get a foothold in the culture when they break something, like when they get an alt-right diaper genie to cry on camera.

But listen, none of those mitigating factors should lessen YOUR enjoyment of Real Sports. I also like TV so that I can yap about it, but I’m also the guy who watched The Wire years and years after everyone else did. I still enjoyed it in my little isolation chamber. I didn’t NEED the rest of the world to join in. Now lemme tell you why Season 5 wasn’t the debacle that WIRE NATION often claims it to be…



I am 100% on board with shaming Dan Snyder or other owners who refuse to abandon racist imagery and names for their teams. That said, I feel like the real power here rests in the hands of the players—why do we let NFL players off the hook when they agree to play under those names and images? Imagine how quickly things would change if draft picks and free agents made it clear they wouldn’t play for Washington until the name is changed.


Well, free agents already spurn Washington for 500 different reasons. The Skins are shitty. Their stadium is crap. The commute to FedEx from Ashburn is a full-day tour of everything horrible about drivers in this area. They’re poorly coached. Their fans range from dead drunk to nonexistent. Snyder is a moody fuckhead. Bruce Allen is a drunk. All of their players contract leprosy. Leave it to the Skins to have their shitty team name somehow NOT be the most undesirable thing about them.

Furthermore, I don’t think it SHOULD have to fall on the players to get the Redskins’ name changed. Those players have football to deal with. Besides, the first dude to publicly refuse to play for the Skins unless they change the name would get run out of the league faster than Kaepernick. Dan Snyder isn’t the only NFL owner who enjoys that name and all its attendant connotations. I bet the name Redskins is the ONLY thing Jerry Jones likes about his rivals.


Jason Taylor played for the Skins and then, later, said the team name was racist. I don’t blame him for taking Snyder’s money first before shitting on him. It’s easy to turn down money on principle in your imagination, but less so when you’re trying to get the most out of your livelihood, whether you’re poor OR rich. Look at me, man. I bitch about evil hedge fund ghouls while also taking a paycheck from them. The system is set up so that you have little choice but to buy in. It’s the same reason people still use Google and Facebook despite their evils. Everything in America comes with baggage now. The Skins just happen to have an entire fucking airport terminal full of it.


Has anyone else noticed that Bruce Arians looks like Charlie the Starkist Tuna mascot?


Well NOW they have. I never realized how much Bruce Arians looked like a Tampa guy until he WENT to Tampa. It was destiny.



If the band Live were formed in the internet era, would they have come up with a different name? As far as SEO goes, they have failed immeasurably. The band itself was a fairly big deal, having sold over 20MM albums worldwide, and yet, go type Live into YouTube and tell me what you get. They should have at least gone the app route and intentionally fucked up the spelling, right? I bet they would be remembered more today if they were Lyve or some shit.


That band DOES come up if you type only “Live” into the YouTube search engine. You have to scroll down the page for the result, and then YouTube probably recommends a clip of Peppa Pig torturing Jews after you’ve clicked, but the band is there. Then again, YouTube knows who I am and what I watch, so their spiderbots probably took one look at my photo and were like, “Oh yeah, this guy has rocked out to ‘All Over You’ while driving a Jeep Cherokee before.” And I have.

I don’t think that Live would have adopted a different name if they had formed in 2019. First of all, musicians are stupid (Live’s first incarnation was named First Aid, which is both a web search nightmare AND Bob Geldolf’s least successful charity festival). Secondly, Live was one of the most hilariously pretentious bands ever to exist to begin with. They were Artists-with-a-capital-A who wouldn’t have dared allow SEO considerations to interfere with their vision. Look again at the “Lightning Crashes” lyrics:

Lightning crashes, a new mother cries

Her placenta falls to the floor

The angel opens her eyes, the confusion sets in

Before the doctor can even close the door

I’m sure Ed Kowalczyk likes money as much as the next guy, but he ALSO likes being the guy who wrote that nonsense. He’s not rechristening his band Lyve or Llive or A$AP Live or any of that shit.


Besides, bands are almost always gifted the right of first refusal when it comes to search results anyway. If you search Canada on Google you probably get a band named Canada first before you get to THE Canada. If you have a song name or album title you can also input into the search bar, Google is gonna know you want the band the second you’ve entered just a few extra letters. This even works, albeit on occasion, for a British band I love called A. Just A. Do you know how fucking maddening it is to search for a band just called A? Even when you find A on Spotify and click on the band name, Spotify still gets them confused with other shit. All they had to do with Cocknify their band name a little to make life easier. BLOODY ‘ELL A or something.

By the way, you already know that white American baby names are wildly out of control. Every Utah mom wants to name their kid something unique like Shaynegree, but now Shaynegree is easily searchable online. That is exact OPPOSITE of what I want as a parent. I want my kid buried in the mix. I already regret not naming my kid something that would never turn up on the first page of a Google search. Like, I dunno, Hitler. No last name. No way MY Hitler would get noticed. Even if he did, people would be like, “Oh wow this is a DIFFERENT Hitler. A good Hitler, who likes Pokemon! That’s kinda refreshing!”



I’ve noticed drive-thru attendants always hand me my change in this order - bills in my palm, receipt then goes on top of that, and lastly, the coins on top. This is ridiculous. There is no way of knowing which way those coins are gonna slide as I lower my hand and close my fist.


I assume they’ve been instructed to hand you money this way by their bosses, and that there’s a byzantine explanation for it that I don’t care to Google right now. The bill acts as a sanitary buffer between the clerk’s hand and yours. That way, they can’t give you Sheep Flu, and vice versa. And if the change slides off the bills, that’s your fault and not the clerk’s. Legally speaking, that may not have been the case if they had dropped the coins into your bare palm haphazardly.

If you to go certain grocery stores and fast food restaurants now, they have a workaround where the change is dispensed by a separate register, like you just won at the penny slots. I have absolutely stood there like a jackass, waiting for the clerk to hand me my change, only to have him or her be like, “Your dimes are over there, bro.” I’ve also walked out of a store having outright forgotten to claim any of that change at all. I’ve probably cost myself $1.36 in total doing this over my lifespan. I could have bought a stadium with that money. Makes me angry.



I love the outdoors so much I moved to Utah. Twice. ON PURPOSE! Here’s the dilemma - the only thing I love as much as all the outdoorsy stuff is motorsports, specifically IndyCar but I’m game for just about anything that ends with a checked flag. I even worked for NASCAR prior to my current job. I recognize that the screaming engines, burning tires that last for a handful of laps, super-high octane racing fuel consumed closer to gallons-per-mile, along with the small army of transport trucks & planes it takes to get teams between races, are not great environmentally speaking, but I just can’t help myself. How do I reconcile this?


You don’t. Just enjoy all the fancy race cars. I watch football and the ethical jiu-jitsu required to watch THAT is somehow even more galling. But I don’t think IndyCar racing is exactly the main culprit in the deterioration of our atmosphere. It’s a SYMPTOM of an automotive and fossil fuel-burning infrastructure that pretty much everyone indulges in, to the detriment of both the planet and their future selves. I drive a car. I have a house that uses electricity. I take plane rides. I used disposable diapers for all my kids. I don’t go dumping arsenic into reservoirs, but I led the exact kind of quietly damnable existence that millions, if not billions, of people do that has, in aggregate, fucked us hard and fucked us good. And I haven’t stopped living that way. I haven’t gone footprint-free and moved my family to a fucking cave. I’m still shoving coal into the boiler.

HOWEVER, you’ve probably already heard the liberal talking point that 100 corporations are responsible for over 70 percent of the current pollution rate. And so it behooves those companies, along with their proxies in both the media and in government, to blame those damn millennials for choking us all to death because they eat unsustainable meat in the form of Popeye’s chicken sandwiches etc. It’s easier to guilt trip people for individual choices than it is to overhaul the working machinery that those people, again, have little choice but to opt in and use.


You’re gonna change more by voting right and by highlighting the evils of these companies than you are boycotting the Firestone Grand Prix Of St. Petersburg. So do that and then enjoy all that hot racin’ action guilt-free! You did YOUR part. You know, I think this here Earth is gonna be jusssssst fine thanks to the likes of you and me. WE DID IT.


If someone robbed me of a home run I would not salute the outfielder with a tip of my cap. Am I OK?


Yeah, that’s fine. That guy ruined your big moment. He’s a bastard.


Driving by a self-service car wash the other day stopped and thought how many of those vacuums have had a dick in them? America is full of crazies so maybe 5 percent? More?


Less. Those vacuums are POWERFUL. They have to be if I want to have any hope of getting every last Goldfish crumb out of the back of my Sienna. Those vacuums’ll take your dick right off. You don’t wanna have sex with them.

I know that America, and the world in general, is home to millions upon millions of masochists who like having a dominatrix hook their testicles up to a car battery and what not. But even those people usually don’t want entire body parts forcibly amputated by a free vacuum on the edge of a Sunoco parking lot. You gotta pick your spots with that kinda shit.


To make sure, I just went into Incognito mode in Chrome and Googled “man penis gas station vacuum” to see if some enterprising Texas Man had attempted to fuck a BP suck-and-go interior vac. I should have known that searching for that would turn up no relevant news items, but rather a host of links regarding penis-enlargement vacuums instead. [Austin Powers voice] THAT IS NOT MY BAG, BABY.

So rest easy. If you’re cleaning out your backseat, you’re not getting dick germs all over it.



Hello BrainBag-

Why doesn’t the NFL schedule the AFC South every Thursday? They don’t want to acknowledge that it’s the MAC of the NFL.


Yeah but Gardner Minshew is in the South now, so that makes it cool. Besides, have you met the AFC East? The AFC East is a strip mine at the moment. Sam Darnold’s spleen is the size of my head. It’s a bad scene.

The NFL is always gonna work a healthy portion of Jags-Titans games into the TNF schedule. But given how awesome the Packers-Eagles matchup was LAST week, I don’t mind it when they treat that slot as something other than a dungeon where they can lock away F-list divisional rivalries. I’d like those games to NOT suck. Thursday is my big night for not being sober. It is, as the great ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER declares, Slursday. I don’t wanna spend that night watching Blaine Gabbert face off against Blaine Gabbert. Not if I can help it.


Besides, if they assigned TNF to only one division some other division would come around and out-suck it in even more prominent slots. Again, the AFC East is right there to validate every complaint you’ve ever had about the sport of football.


Excluding porn, what is the most embarrassing thing Trump has ever Google searched?


“man penis gas station vacuum”

Email of the week!


So last week a customer walked into one of our branch stores and demanded to speak to a manager. He pulled out his phone, showed them a call from the store’s phone number, and then played the message that corresponded to that call. It was someone, no accent, heavy breathing into the phone talking all sorts of dirty shit. The call came from an hour after the store had been closed and we checked the video. Wasn’t us. So we figured some kid spoofed our number and got nasty on the phone.

The problem is that the kid said, and I quote, “I want to lick mustard off your hot, sweaty balls.”

I know, right? Who in their right minds is going to go for mustard in that situation? I mean, there you are: a pair of majesticals inches away from your tongue and the only thing you can think of is mustard? So I asked around my store to see if there were worse things they could think of. The two that got the most shudders were sweet relish and creamy horseradish, but everyone agreed (before I was politely asked to stop inquiring) that mustard ain’t even on the list.

So I pose you the same question. What’s the last thing you would lick off someone’s body?


Mayonnaise. You know this.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.