Unseemly Word Loses Its Sting

'Near-dirty' term deserves a trip to the showers
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2008 12:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The word douchebag is in danger of losing its bite thanks to rampant overuse, writes Richard Dorment in Esquire. It's not that the "toxic mess of a man" population has increased, he observes. It may seem that way, what with reality TV and cable punditry promoting unsavory characters. But it's really that the term's literal meaning makes it clean enough to use on network TV.

Take a lesson from tool, which lost its aura of opprobrium after prime time snatched it up. Douchebag "still has the naughty visuals," but its mainstream cred robs it of the impact it needs to be an effective snub to "a troublemaker without brains, a narcissist without charm," Dorment writes. To see his suggested replacement, click the link below.