About This Word

douchebag

or douche bag

[doosh-bag]  

What does douchebag mean?

You know the dude, that collar-popping, suns-out-guns-out, last-piece-of-pizza-stealing specimen of bro-dom.

He's a douchebag, a slang insult for an obnoxious, entitled jerk.

Related words:

  • douchebagette
  • douchey
  • douche-nozzle
  • McDouche

See how it's used

douchebag

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Where does douchebag come from?

The slang douchebag comes from the literal douchebag, a type of syringe for douching, or washing the vagina for hygienic and contraceptive purposes. They are referenced in medical texts and midwifery books in the late 1800s. Douche itself comes from French and Italian words for "shower."

Due to its use by women for a taboo part of the body, douchebag was a disparaging term for women by the 1930s. Use by author Henry Miller caused some controversy in the 1960s.

In the 1980s, Saturday Night Live parodied the aristocratic "Lord and Lady Douchebag":

Afterward, the term spread all over popular culture, especially in the 1990s and 2000s.

It was a favorite of Jon Stewart on The Daily Show in the 2000s, probably because it passed the TV censors. Family Guy also loved the term, also likely because the strong language was permitted on air.

Ironically for its feminine and misogynistic past, the success of douchebag is as a mocking term for men, especially a particular kind of man. In 2014, American studies professor Michael Mark Cohen wrote a popular article on how douchebag was "the white racial slur we've all been waiting for," slamming a typed of privileged, white, heterosexual male.

Who uses douchebag?

Douchebag is less vulgar than "asshole" but stronger than "tool" and still considered inappropriate for polite company.

While it can target entitled white men, douchebag can insult anyone who is annoying, usually because of cocky or self-important behavior.

Like Kanye West on Twitter.

Or, Justin Bieber after he peed in that bucket.

Or, Logan Paul ... pretty much any time.

Douchebag Dennis is a popular internet meme imagining the antics of a douchebag.

douchebaggery (the state of being a douchebag) or douche-nozzle (an especially noteworthy douchebag). The shorter forms douche and douchey are very common too.

For example

am that type of douchebag friend who doesn’t talk with you for months but still cares about you and hopes you still care too.

@SarcasmPage, May, 2018

Do u think people who name their babies like Chad or Todd or Trent or whatever know that their son’s gonna grow up to be an entitled raging douchebag who roofies girls at frat parties & shotguns beers to impress his bros

@sxmmie, May, 2018

Peter Parker is not a douchebag, neither is Clark Kent. But Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark sure are. Cyclops is a douchebag whereas Magneto is not. Hal Jordan is a douchebag, but Captain America (perhaps surprisingly) is not.

Michael Mark Cohen, Gawker, October, 2014

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