Sunday, July 01, 2007

Situational Meanings

I wonder if "dude" and "bucko" have about the same situational meaning to the persons who use them? I think that might be the case. I say it without looking either of them up in a dictionary, so maybe I'm wrong... I suspect, though, that the fellow why calls you "bucko" holds you in a deeper contempt but keeps it clean because he's afraid his mother (or somebody) will hear him.

Some additional thoughts (thanks to Alisa): Dude has a long and wide history and is very indefinite in it's meaning because of that except as it is situationally used. You have to deduce the meaning from context; if you just read a line or two of dialog on a page, you might not know what it means. All the uses of Bucko I ever heard seemed detrimental or demeaning to me--a very in-your-face form of address--although the persons using it would probably have denied it. The only people I can recall hearing it from were men trying to refrain from using cuss words. I think some country boy somewhere merely invented an evasive cuss word and it now comes out of other people's mouths from time to time!

I remember some writer back when I was a teenager was postulating that the beatnik use of daddyo was meant as a negation of authority figures. Like "daddy zero". Daddy is nothing to me. Something like that. I've never forgotten that interpretation, right or wrong, and I think it influences my view of "bucko".

There, that's everything I know about "bucko". It may be everything i know about anything!


  1. Hmmm... I don't think dude is interchangeable with Bucko. College / high school kids will use dude as a greeting or to get some one's attention.

  2. You're probably right. You provoked a line of thought that I first put here as an answer, but I took it out and added it to the original post. Thanks.

  3. Am I dudette? :)

    I sure don't want to be a buckette!

  4. Look up Dude in Wikipedia. It's long and entertaining and will not make you a bit smarter! Meanwhile, I suspect that most of my female readers are not young enough to be a dudette!

  5. Bucko originates from the Irish word "Buachaill" meaning "boy". As you will no doubt appreciate the word is somewhat difficult to pronounce for non-Irish speakers and the Anglicised version became Bucko.

    Irish people use the word boy in the same way as Americans use the word Bucko.

  6. Anonymous came along in the right month of the wrong year! He is late, very late! I had almost forgotten this post already!!!

    Didn't Richie Cunningham use "Bucko" on the Happy Days TV sitcom?


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