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A dude is an individual, typically male, particularly somebody well dressed or who has never lived outside a big city. The female equivalent, which is used less often, is “dudette.” However, “dude” has evolved to become more unisex to encompass both genders, and this was true even in the 1950s.
The word dude is an American English slang term generally used informally to address or refer to somebody and was once used primarily by adults but this has become a common slang term used in various age groups. (wiki)
Evander Berry Wall, a New York socialite, was dubbed “King of the Dudes.” He is pictured (1888) in the New York American at the time of the “battle of the Dudes“.