OK . . . another one similar to "What is a feminine version of 'guys'?"
"Dude" is masculine; what is the feminine version?
The usage I'm thinking of is that "dude" nowadays is used primarily as a way to address a person very colloquially, e.g.:
"Dude, why are you squirting rubbing alcohol on the grill to start it up?"
"Dude, pass me a brew."
Again as in the other "guys" case, it might be culturally acceptable to say "dude" to a female, but I'm not sure, and it feels a little wrong (and has for 30 years).
So what are some suggestions for acceptable female-gendered alternatives?
- babe: might work, but sounds a little too diminutive (or does it?)
- dudette: cute, but hasn't caught on (but could it?)
Australians have "bruce" and "sheila" (I hear from the movies) but that just doesn't fly in AmE (and maybe that's already out of fashion).
What do Californians say (as "dude" in my description seems to come from there)? What do the surfers say?
Any suggestions? It may be the suggestion is that there is no perfect parallel.