Mon 14 Mar, 2011 09:01 pm
I'm really curious as to how this came to be common terminology.
I've heard it used for years but it seems to have become the preferred word in just the last few.
Does anyone have any idea?
probably when douche became a word.
Any one here read Mc Carthy?
Boomer, it might have become popular when men figured out what douche means.
Oh, hah, so that's what it's used for, now we can sound cool, you douche bag.
vinegar on the rocks, stirred, not shaken, with a pearl onion.
I've only read The Road. What book did he write that references the word?
I dunno, I can't read him. though I've tried. I have two of his books waiting for me. (The first chapter of the first one did me in)
I was talking of Mary McCarthy, a nasty scholar of note.
I remember douche bag being an insult since 1967 or 1968.
When did "douche" become a synonym for jerk?
When "dick" went out of favor.
Douche is the French word for shower, so the word has been around for a long time. Has anyone bothered to look this up?
From the online etymological dictionary:
douche (n.) 1766, "jet of water," from Fr. douche (16c.), from It. doccia "shower," from docciare "to spray," from L. ductionem "a leading," from ducere "to lead" (see duke). Meaning "vaginal cleansing" is from 1833. The verb is first attested 1838. Related: Douched; douching.
also douche-bag, douche bag, 1908, from douche + bag. Amer.Eng. slang sense of "contemptible person" attested by 1967.
I'm not going to bother to reproduce the italics and bold-face here.
When did "douche" become a synonym for "jerk"?
About fifty years after "jerk" became a synonym for idiot, I think.
Thanks to all for your replies!
I had looked the word up, even though I knew what it meant, hoping to shed some light on how it became an insult. It didn't.
The essay Francis posted comes fairly close to what I was thinking but I was wondering if maybe there was some connection to the old wives tale about douche induced abortion and that maybe the term referred to someone who shouldn't have been born.
It seems like such a strange thing to call someone.
I have never heard of a woman on woman use of this word. We just don't say it to each other.
Only women know how uncomfortable and burdensome and irritating douching is. - all things men. So I hear it woman on man. Men should not use this word.
BTW - the whole idea of douching is a Madison Avenue ploy. Douches, sprays, wipes are all unecessary. Many men love the smell of a woman. A woman's body is both frightening and fascinating to most men. Henry Ford Jr. said that anyone who could bottle the smell of pussy would be a millionaire.
A douche bag -- the object -- can be used both as a vaginal wash and as an enema. Basically, the douche bag is a device for eliminating, in one use either a smell or sperm after a sexual encounter, in the other, constipation.
So, the idea is of a douche bag is not appealing. In the second televised dramatization of The Forsyte Saga, Irene, who hated her husband, douched immediately after sex to avoid having his child. When I was a college student, there were warnings issued to women that douching was not effective birth control. I would not, however, equate douching with aborting because it seems that douching would only prevent sperm from reaching the ovaries, but, I might be wrong because I am only surmising.
During the late 60s and early 70s, the advertising and over-the-counter cosmetics industry went crazy over vaginal odors. There were all sorts of products to eliminate this dreaded affliction, from FDS (for feminine deodorant spray) to the rather Victorian euphemism of Cupid's Quiver.
Frankly, the products and the ads were insulting. I remember an editorial or letter to the editor written by a man railing against these things. He wrote that women do not smell any worse than men do. The truth of the matter is that the perineum does tend to smell.
At the same time, as more Americans went to Europe -- often as backpacking students -- a traditional European piece of plumbing, the bidet, was discovered. Some tourists became enthusiastic fans while others were repulsed by them. Of course, there was the old foot bath routine. I had a bidet installed in my other house. They're wonderful. A woman can use one during her period. They're also helpful if you want to skip a daily shower (actually, bathing eliminates odors generated by the perineum more effectively than showering) because you are plagued by dry skin or because you want to conserve water. I wish I still had one.
I forgot the sentence about the name of an object with an embarrassing or suspect use easily lends itself to use as an insult.
Oh my gosh!! It's Bella Dea!