Make us your home page

The parlance of our times

Nothing identifies an Achiever faster than the ability to drop dialogue from The Big Lebowski into conversation. Calling someone "Dude" isn't enough. That's "the whole brevity thing" that fans aren't into. If you haven't memorized the movie like a true Achiever, here are the top five phrases without profanity to keep handy, and situations when they'll count. You don't want to be a Donny, constantly told to "shut the (bleep) up" because "you're out of your element."


1 "Hey, careful, man, there's a beverage here!"

— When someone bumps into you during the party, whether you have a drink in hand or not.

2 "You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me."

— When asked for a favor you're unable to fulfill but bluffing is preferable to admitting it.

3 "This is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules."

— Any time things don't go your way, which may not be the best way but it's yours.

4 "I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man."

— Just in case the person you're addressing doesn't agree with No. 3.

5 "And a good day to you, too, sir!"

— Suitable for greetings or goodbyes, any time.

Steve Persall, Times film critic


A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges' own clothes.

The Dude never actually bowls.

The word "dude" is used about 160 times in the movie.

The f-word, or a variation of the f-word, is used 292 times. (Search YouTube for The Big Lebowski (Bleeping) Short Version to hear each one in 2 minutes, 15 seconds.)

The Dude says "man" 147 times in the movie, nearly 1.5 times a minute.



The Dude drinks nine White Russians during the course of the movie. (He drops one of them at Jackie Treehorn's mansion.) Here's how to make one:

2 parts vodka

1 part coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa)

1 part cream, half-and-half (the Dude's preference) or milk if necessary

Served with ice in a lowball glass. Several times.


As Lebowski Fest spreads nationwide, Louisville artist Bill Green is regularly commissioned to create artwork reflecting the various locales.

The image Green conjured for Lebowski Fest Tampa is one of his finest, available on shirts and posters at the event, and soon online at

The Dude's knocked-out fantasy of bowling Valkyrie women is a recurring theme, with a beach setting at sundown as our signature locale.

But there's another layer to the composition that only Coen brothers fans may recognize: The Valkyrie's pose, hand shading her eyes, and a bird flying along the horizon are lifted from another Coen brothers film, Barton Fink. In that movie, the image is seen in a photograph hung over Barton's writing desk. Later, it's the source of the film's final, live-action shot.

Maude Lebowski would agree: Green is a good artist, and thorough.


Yes, there really is a Dude (or El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing), his name is Jeff Dowd, 61, and he will attend Lebowski Fest Tampa.

Formerly a member of the Seattle Seven radical anti-Vietnam War movement, Dowd later became a Hollywood producer. He befriended Joel and Ethan Coen after hearing a pitch to produce their 1984 debut Blood Simple. The Coens were impressed with his offbeat personality and hazy past, leading to the screenplay for The Big Lebowski.

Dowd is a frequent Lebowski Fest guest who doesn't mind attention from Achievers.

"It's actually a great gift," Dowd told the Boston Globe. "Anywhere I go people are inclined to be very friendly. Being the Dude breaks down all those walls we put up. Women who might be leery of me aren't."


1 The Dude, Jeff Bridges

2 Walter, John Goodman

3 Maude, Julianne Mooore

4 Theodore Donald "Donny" Kerabatsos, Steve Buscemi

5 Jesus, John Turturro

The parlance of our times 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 1:13am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours