This evening, The Girlfriend and I watched I Vetelloni, and I remarked that one of the characters was a cad. Shortly thereafter, the subtitles confirmed my view, and “cad” became a regular part of the movie’s vocabulary. The Girlfriend became fascinated with the term and, after toying with it for a while, decided that we needed to revive it as a replacement for “douchebag.” They cover much the same territory, after all, and “cad” doesn’t require one to constantly refer to a not-recommended feminine hygene tool.
This latter point is important because it’s never clear to me exactly what we’re extracting from the literal term “douchebag” to get to the metaphorical application to certain men. Is it that the process for which “douchebags” (the men) are used (sex) is bad for women in the same way as in the case of “douchebags” (the feminine hygene tool)? I suppose such an etymology is possible, but it seems optimistic — knowing American popular culture, it seems safer to assume that the term trades on the supposed ickiness of anything related to “women problems” rather than to medical professionals’ consensus about the harmfulness of the process referred to.
Anyway, yeah: cad. Feel free to debate the point in comments.
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