I'm not sure exactly when d-bag made it's debut, but I'm guessing somewhere in the late 90's. At the time it seemed to have a little more teeth to it, and was fairly specific:
Douche-bag - A young man who mis-represents himself in order to solicit the sexual favors of a young lady, most often in conjunction with the bar scene*. A local example would be the "scottsdale millionaire" - or someone who makes $30K a year, but implies a much grander scale of living to bedazzle his intended victim.I should mention both deception and malice were key ingredients. It wasn't enough to get laid - one had to count coup over, or demean one of the fairer sex. I should also mention this wasn't my personal m.o.,** but it's not as if I weren't - as my father puts it - out "tap dancing for the young ladies" myself.
Later, it seems the word was expanded to include more general forms of deceptive practise; it was still primarily masculine, but could be expanded to include the feminine, so long as malice and deception were used for the purposes of self gain - a sort of low level grifting. Maybe a lie was told to a friend or acquaintance in order to extract money? Something like that.
Today, however, the word seems to have gained a much wider, nearly universal useage, not unlike the f-bomb.
True, you can't "go douche yourself, you mother douchin' douche-bag, cause I don't douchin' care!" -but- when your very own sister says you look like a douche-bag for wearing your Blackberry on your hip... ***
"Dork," I think, would've been more appropriate.
Adam, you look like a dork.
Now there's a word I can identify with.
Just not douche-bag.
*Okay, s0 maybe,maybe I need to chill on the Tom Wolfe for a bit.
**Modus Operandi or Mode of Operation. My own tactic was the undersell - infinitely more honest, but a tactic none-the-less.
***For the record - I wear my phone in a belt-holster, not because it looks cool - quite the opposite - but because the phone seems to get beat up (and lost) far less often!