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Slate investigates: 'When Did Douche Become an Insult?


In light of Rolling Stone's "half an homage" to Andrew Breitbart, which was thoughtfully titled "Death of a Douche," Slate gives the people what they want today and answers the age-old question: When, exactly, did it become a bad thing to be called a "douche"?

In the 1960s. The Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithet douche to a 1968 collection of college slang compiled at Brown University, which defined the word as “a person who always does the wrong thing.” The insult douchebag is somewhat older. The 1939 novel Ninety Times Guilty includes a pimp named Jimmy Douchebag, and the Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithetical usage to a 1946 journal article about military slang, which offered the definition “a military misfit.”

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