What is the origin of the word "dude?"
When wealthy city-slickers, or dudes, wanted to go and experience the country life, Dude Ranches came about. Then it became important in the California surfing societies, and after that, it became common in most American dialects. It still is supposed to refer to males, though there is a greater degree of gender neutrality in the term. In fact the two feminine forms, dudine and dudess, both of which fell out of usage, were replaced by the pseudo-French Dudette.