So, I’m reading this article about beer and wine douchbagginess, and it occurs to me that I don’t explicitly know under which circumstances a person is referred to as a douchebag, or short: douche, what douchiness entails, or its definition. I will attempt, to the best of my abilities, to construct a theory of douchebagginess.
“Don’t be such a douche”. This suggests that you can be a douche one moment, and not in the next, and in order to change toggle your douchiness, you need to change your behaviour. Consequently, “Douchiness” refers to a kind of non-conformistic behaviour. I have observed people being called a douche for conforming to social norms, and for not conforming to social norms, often both at the same time, but sometimes also neither*
While it is always considered an insult, the severity very much depends on the setting and can range from harsh friendly criticism to the equivalent of the a-word**. I have yet to see someone get one in the kisser for calling someone a douche, while the a-word has gotten myself and a few other friends a black eye. Unlike the a-word, douchebag doesn’t refer to a personal quality, but only to a behaviour.
Behaviour examples that qualify as douchbaggy:
1. Arrogant. Unlike having delusions of grandeur, which would earn you the a-word, a flight of superiority, however, wouldn’t estrange you too much from your peers if you let it go after being called a “douchebag”
2. Deflective. Sick of not getting straight answers from one of your friends, only excuses and what-would-you-have-done’s, or even but-you-haven’t-either’s… just call them a douchebag
3. Getting drunk and stoned at your sibling’s or best friend’s home and inappropriately flirting with their romantic interest/partner/ex
4. Bitch about something that isn’t your business, or something nobody gives a f*** about
As is evident in examples 3 and 4, douchebagginess doesn’t require intention, but can be the result of being total oblivious, which also makes it kind of amusing.
*Social Jaywalking. No, I don’t think this is an actual term, but I’d like to coin the phrase. It refers to behaviour that is liminally inappropriate. Reacting to it in any way other than calling the douchebag out would make you a douchebag, yourself. Example: Trolling – Feeding the Troll.