On the use of the word “douche”

doucheFROM JASON’S VOCABULARY — My super-intelligent and beautiful wife is easily offended at the so-called “big swear words.” Her adopted substitute of choice is “douche,” and she’s escalated its usage to about once every four and a half minutes.

“What a douchey thing to say,” she’ll yell at the nightly news.

“Well, that’s just douchetastic,” she’ll proclaim about some work-related problem.

“What are you looking at, Douche Bigalow?” she asked the dog the other night.

And the traditional “douchebag” isn’t good enough anymore, either. You’ve got to get creative. We banter back and forth, trying to get the other person to crack.

Whoever breaks down in laughter first loses: Douchepotato, douchewand, hickory dickory douche, Baron von Douche, industrial-sized douche, doucheball, doucheberry, Mother Douche, douchebaggette, McDouche, Danny Douche and the Douchettes, douchemeister, douchenozzle, Douche-A-Roni (I credit my friend Robert with that one), Douchey Long-Stockings, douchtato, Douche Vader, doucheburger, douchelicker, baba ghadouche, douches wild, Professor Dumbledouche, bag o’ douche, douchepile, Mr. Barky Von Doucher, Moby Douche….

Variations on douche have been making headway on television, too, from prime-time comedies to tweenager shows. I suppose it’s considered “clean” compared to “fucktard” or “cumdumpster” — insults that would never make it past network or basic cable censors.

It’s funny that we consider a device made to wash out body cavities “cleaner” than the act of sex, for instance. I’ve never understood the concept of a “bad” word, or the Christian opposition to “swearing.”

What I do understand is why all iterations of douche are hilarious. To paraphrase the immortal Krusty the Clown, comedy isn’t about dirty words, it’s about words that sound dirty.

Part of it could also rely on the use of a consonant plosive. The letters d, p, b, t, k, and g are considered “humorous” because they “explosively” punctuate words with harsh, quick sounds. This is why “underpants” is a funnier word than “underwear.”

Likewise, the “oosh” phonetic is a gutteral vowel/soft consonant combination that’s inherently comedic (not to mention slightly onamatapaeic).

And let’s not forget perhaps the most epic use of “douche” in pop culture: Dr. Tobias Funke’s brilliant utterance on Arrested Development:

This is altogether different from an insult; it conveys the empty, silent feeling in a room after somebody’s made a complete douche of themselves.

I suppose you could also use some mutation of douche to describe a place or state of being: Douchetopia, Douchealot, Cleveland, Doucheington, Doucheburg, or L’Arc douche Triomphe.

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One Response to On the use of the word “douche”

  1. Nine says:

    Unlike you I absolutely do not understand why the word douche is so hilarious to some people. I find very few douchéfied words to be funny. That Douche Bigalow is one that I find somewhat funny. I also do not see anything funny in the clip you posted, let alone anything epic. But this can be explained by the complete lack of context.

    I agree with you that the mentioned letters make a word more likely to be humorous-sounding. However I don’t feel the same about the ‘ooosh’ sound. On the contrary even, it sounds boring and bland to me.

    Either way, to cut this short, your wife wins.

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