Are you a bloke, a lad, a dude or a gent?

Do you think of yourself as one of the lads? Maybe a bit of a dude? Or a modern gent, perhaps.

National larrikin laureate and television host Karl Stefanovic of another variant on that spectrum of masculinity – the iconic Aussie bloke.

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They may sound like semantic tags, simple literary devices used to describe the average male. Each, though, in its own way, depicts a different type of man.

So what do they all mean? And which are you, your dad, your brother, your spouse?

Starting with Stefanovic's version of what it means to be a bloke, let's take a quick look at the different archetypes in our lexicon.

The Bloke

A certain level of irony – and even derision in some quarters – is attached like baggage to the Bloke, thanks to a rather negative historical image. But there is also a certain amount of affection for his lack of pretension, simple tastes and an unerring ability to spot bullshit a mile off. His best traits are his loyalty and sense of humour. Examples include Shane Warne (above), Karl Stefanovic and any host of The Footy Show (either code).

The Lad

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On the surface, the Lad might seem like more trouble than he's worth but he can also be the life of the party. He can, however, easily go that one step too far. Outgoing and social, the Lad can find himself in hot water when evidence of his antics reaches social media. Examples are Robbie Williams (above), Todd Carney and Charlie Sheen.

The Dude

The Dude is a (slightly) more mature version of the lad and known for his laid-back nature, which can sometimes be misconstrued as failure to give a rat's clacker. Despite being in his late 20s or possibly even his early 30s, the Dude most likely still shares a living space with his mates and works solely to make enough money for the weekend. Role models include Chris Pratt, Seth Rogen (above) and, of course, Jeff 'The Big Lebowski' Bridges.

The Gent

Impeccably dressed seven days of the week, the Gent takes pride in his appearance. He enjoys whiskey over beer, suits over jeans and isn't ashamed to own several colognes for different occasions. Not one to shy away from some personal grooming, the Gent can run the risk of taking himself a touch too seriously. Role models include Leonardo DiCaprio (above), David Beckham and bearded, tattooed barbers.

The all-round good guy

As fun as it is to generalise about behavioural stereotypes, in doing so we run the risk of limiting ourselves.

Which is why, when Stefanovic lamented that the Australian male had gone soft because he no longer acted in a particular way, he might be missing the point of what it means to be a modern-day man.

It's not simply a matter of enjoying a beer on the weekend with mates, or being genetically endowed with a hairy chest.

A real man isn't just a Bloke, a Lad, a Dude or a Gent. Instead, to borrow a cricket term, he's a good all-rounder.

Like the Bloke, he should be able to laugh at himself. He should also have the Lad's enthusiasm, but with the maturity to know when enough's enough; be as easy-going and likeable as the Dude; and sport the pride and manners of a Gent.

If that means a spot of grooming here and there and enjoying an occasional pre-mixed drink, then go right ahead. Because a genuinely good bloke also doesn't care what other people think about his choices.

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