Scumbags, Douches and Jerks

Tonight, some friends and I were discussing some mutual acquaintances. It emerged that there was some confusion about how to categorize certain types of men we disdain.

To me, a Douche is instantly recognizable as such. He doesn’t have to exhibit any behavior; he’s just a Douche. Sometimes a Douche can increase his douchiness by bad behavior, like John Mayer, but usually it’s a done deal. Keith Urban is a Douche.


So is Pete Wentz and David Duchovny.

Joe Perry ( as per this photo from the American Music Awards show) is a Scumbag.


Whereas, Steven Tyler is a Douche.   Snoop Dogg = Scumbag. Mickey Rourke, another Scumbag.

Trying to think of a Jerk, my first thought was Levi Johnston, god bless him.   Jerks are more innocent than Scumbags or Douches. I even think that a Jerk could be reformable; he could wise up, theoretically anyway. Douches and Scumbags are lost causes.

I used to be able to explain the difference between a Tool and a Jerk, but I honestly can’t remember the criteria. All I remember was that some guy named Jason (who happened to be a fishmonger) was a complete Tool.

Where do you stand on these categories, and who do you think best epitomizes a Douche, Scumbag, Jerk or Tool?

This entry was posted in Celebrities, Words and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Scumbags, Douches and Jerks

  1. dexter vandango says:

    A jerk is a guy who borrows your car and then returns it 6 hours later than he promised.

    A douche is a guy who returns it when you’re not home and makes veiled sexual jokes to your wife to determine if she’s receptive.

    A scumbag tells his friends that it worked and he nailed her.

  2. Dexter seems to have summed it up – jerk, douche, scumbag I’m easily annoyed by them so have to avoid.

  3. TobiLynne says:

    I think you pretty much nailed the categories. I’d say a tool is somewhere between a douchebag and a jerk. Maybe a douche is a douche by nature, and a jerk is a jerk by nurture (hence being reformable). A tool could go either way, but likely the way of the douche.

    Douchebags: Pretty much everyone in Oasis, Rush Limbaugh
    Scumbags: Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggert
    Tools: Ashton Kutcher, all contestants of American Idol
    Jerks: David Letterman, Bob Dylan

  4. dust says:

    I think I left the jerk-tool in the scumbag on my piano this morning…

    (Douche is still a new word to me…)

  5. Dena says:

    Although I am impressed by the varying degrees of jerk/tool/douchedom I would largely just file them all in the drawer labelled “cocks”.

  6. Kate says:

    Dexter sums it up.

    From the pictures you provided and from the looks of the people who usually get called “douche,” it seems to hinge upon over-accessorizing and trying to look dirty when the (hu)man in question is too immaculately groomed or purposely disheveled to be rugged. This would naturally include most fashion bloggers, g-d love ’em.

    Scumbags are aware of how morally and aesthetically questionable they are and choose to own it, even in the face of absurdity (like the Olsen twins, Martha Stewart, all of the Beatles but Ringo, and, yeah, Snoop). “Scumbag” is like a wannabe cunt. Jerks and tools are peons of petty meanness with little to no awareness of their resentful aura (probably most journalists fall into this category).

  7. Beck says:

    Here in the UK I think the corresponding terms would be wanker, arsehole, prick and dickhead.
    Crucial difference between a prick and a dickhead is that secretly you might quite fancy a man who is a prick, but you’d definitely never find a dickhead attractive.
    Cocks applies to all here too.

  8. dexter vandango says:

    TobiLynne.. I understand all your entries… but what has Dylan done to make him a jerk..? Is there something I haven’t heard???
    (I’m not one who thinks him a god or perfect.. I am just curious..)

  9. insomnia says:

    Ok, so based on what I see here it is primarily a matter of intention that separates these animals. On a sliding scale of, say, Jesus Christ to…um…Bill O’Rielly, it is the level (or lack) of self-awareness that determines where they rank in the pantheon of idiots. For instance, if I am a bonehead and remain oblivious to how thoughtless/lame/played out I am, I rank somewhat lower on the scale than my friend, who behaves poorly and KNOWS that he is being a dick (but possibly can’t help himself owing to some matter of genetics, or constitutional weakness.) And standing at the pinnacle are those who are deliberate assholes for some particular reason, to achieve a defined objective.

    I get it. The only problem is that there are too many! Unless someone practically comes out and declares their status as a scumbag, too much is left for the people observing the behavior. It is like being the diving judge at a kids swim meet. If they emerge from the water bleeding, or miss the pool completely, it is an easy call (ie.the parents of the balloon boy). Anything short of that and it is a little tough to call. You see one thing, I see another (like the Bob Dylan thing, above).

    I like Beck’s take. Just call them all (me included) “cocks”

    I kinda like Kate’s read on this, but

  10. TobiLynne says:

    Re: Dylan … I think he’s played an enormous role in our popular culture over the years, he’s a humanitarian, and I think he’s a genuinely good man. I don’t think he’s ill-intentioned (likely just protecting his privacy), but to go out of your way for 40+ years to remain “mysterious” by misleading the press and his fans is a little jerk-ish if you ask me.

    Based on SW’s standards (innocent intentions, but still come off as kind of an ass), I think he’s a jerk. I also think he’s smart, funny, and adorable, and would have let him keep his shoes under my bed until he grew that stupid fucking mustache.

  11. Mark says:

    Douches ALWAYS dress age-inappropriately in expensive versions of mid-American mall crap meant for teen boys with ambiguous sexuality. See photo of Keith Urban above. I would say Joe Perry is a douche, too, not a scumbag. Well, maybe a scummy douchebag. Pete Wentz is the mother of all douches. I think he needs to get beaten up by a bunch of militant gay men sick of closeted douches.

  12. Bevitron says:

    Oh, my head is swimming! I’ll never get this right. Definitely see Rourke as a scumbag but woulda put Duchovny in the jerk slot. I guess I’ll stick with the default “asshole”. I wonder…is there a difference between asshole and just plain ass? The addition of the hole seems to indicate a level of depravity not attained by the mere ass. Is it okay, when referring to a douche, to use douchebag, or does that alter category completely?

  13. Alicia says:

    I like the overarching category of man-cunt. Categorizing takes too much work.

  14. arline says:

    My last boyfriend seemed nice at first. He started to act like a jerk and morphed into a douchebag.

    Yesterday I was driving, and I saw his tragic ass. I now just see him as pitiful.

  15. dexter vandango says:

    TobiLynne’s right about Dylan being annoyingly coquettish.

    I think he’s strangely been jealous of the attention his songs get.. that’s why he murders them live. as if to say, “They’re not important.. I am..”

  16. Dollybird says:

    Donkeys the lot them.

  17. TobiLynne says:

    Dexter, If you don’t mind, I’m putting a screenshot of your comment on my blog, because it’s hilarious.

  18. Iron Chic says:

    Good breakdown… I tried to use the guidelines set here in my latest post.

  19. Moda says:

    Mmm, its difficult – Beck is right we don’t have the same names in the UK. We do have some nice alternatives though. For these ones you have to say them with a hard glaswegian accent just to get the right sound. The main categories are wank and good guy. Within good guy there is diamond; gem; fuckin brilliant; star. Obviously the best ones are in the wank category – dick; prick; dickweed; fuckin arsehole; baw bag (my personal favourite); dobber; wanker. There are many more in both categories and I’m sure another Scot could do a better job at it as my categories don’t really correspond to douche, jerk etc. Anyway it’s fun.

    SW, I’ve been out of the loop but Max looks fuckin amazin in that last pic compared to how he looked before. Give him my regards, good vibes and love and don’t worry about falling off your horse – it makes you a better rider in the end.

  20. boops says:

    does the term douchebag also refer to women? …because I few candidates from work in mind

  21. Hammie says:

    A douche gives you thrush xx

  22. Queen Michelle says:

    Moda you are a genius! Baw bag is also a personal favourite and I laugh when male friends call each other baw bag in jest. Dobber is mighty fine too. I think dick is pretty much a scumbag, but I couldn’t say about the equivalents for jerk and douche. Douche is maybe an fuckin arsehole and maybe jerk is a wanker, possibly even total wanker?

  23. Dru says:

    Dickweed is my favourite one. ‘Douchebag’, ‘jerk’ and ‘scumbag’ just sound silly out of me, nine times out of ten my all-purpose insult is just ‘fucking cunt’. Or else ‘chootiya’ (said with a flat t) in Hindi, which basically means cunt.

  24. inj says:

    yeah lol chooth. i love that one; sounds fresh and not already everywhere. 🙂

  25. Meryem says:

    hi Guys I am sort of mostly unfamiliar with your categories, and recently I was insulted by bunch of,..( semi drunk)!! people and I was not sure how’s the best way to say something back to them,….I was shocked and frozen!,.. I thought here, is a good place to ask you, in similar situation where u do not want to ignore but to say something!,..what naturally comes to your mind,…..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *