Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

An open letter to the dooses of South Africa

Dear Dooses

You know who you are. This guy is a doos. So is this one, and this one, and these cops, these nurses, this teacher, this radio DJ, this spokesman and this pastor. At least two of our neighbouring countries are run by dooses of awe-inspiring dimensions. Noseweek should be retitled “Doos Monthly”.

There are, in short, a hell of a lot of dooses out there. So don’t feel picked on. I’m sure there’s a support group you can join.

Doos is a lovely word, don’t you think? So proudly South African. We should celebrate it more. Traditionally it has been used for white men, but I think it has much wider application. After all, dooses come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and all colours, of all incomes and all social classes. In that sense doosdom is both democratic and ecumenical, embracing all who hold true to its basic tenets.

If you’re still not sure you’re a doos, it’s a relatively simple matter to tell. I’ve bullet-pointed the signs for ease of reference:
• You abuse whatever power you have.
• You enjoy humiliating and belittling others.
• You’re bigoted, lifting your leg on standards of common decency at every opportunity.
• You’re profoundly self-centred.

Sound familiar? We all have dooses in our lives. And, sadly, most of us look the other way and put up with you lot, either because we agree with you (which makes us dooses too) or we’re too polite or too cowardly to say anything.

Here is my plea to you, the dooses. Bugger off. Please. If you don’t know how to behave, if you can’t treat others with a modicum of respect and decency, then take yourself and your personality disorders and go somewhere else. Siberia would make a good start (lots of space), as would Iran, Afghanistan or Syria. Equitorial Guinea is a fun spot, I hear (Simon Mann, a doos par excellence, would know). Australia has been suggested, but it’s home to enough dooses already, and should I ride the ferry to Mosman again, I’d prefer not to encounter any more of you. Actually, I’m leaning towards Canada, specifically the tar sands of Alberta. In the wake of their recent conservatism and their middle finger to environmental issues, I think they deserve you. Pack lots of warm clothing, and don’t let the door slam behind you on the way out.

In conclusion, this is also an open letter to all of us who aren’t dooses. After all, dooses thrive in our midst because we allow them to. It’s about time we excluded them from the circle of trust around the braai. Enough already.

Yours in anticipation of being rid of you once and for all,

etc etc

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    • Koos Kombuis

      Love the way you spell “dooses” with a double “oo” instead of the dictionary spelling “dose”. It reverberates with different shades of meaning. Makes me think of old favourites like “oordosis”, etc. Also, the double “oo” would be as intriguing to readers abroad as the double “oo” in “Die Antwoord”. Love your writing.

    • Peter Vos

      PMS Sarah? Catchy headline, lousy content. Let’s hope Jennifer draws you in for some feminist sensitivity training …

    • The Creator

      “Doos” means “cunt”. So, basically, you are promoting sexist abuse, apart from the fact that you are replacing intelligent debate with swearwords.


    • Margot

      Shame on you Sarah. As The Creator points out – the word “doos” is Afrikaans for that equipment unique to women. For a woman to advocate the use of this word is a disgrace to our dignity. I’ll never understand why people are so inclined to use words with a sexual connotation as swearwords. Seems to be especially prevalent among those educated in private schools, especially non co-educational private schools. Please choose another word to describe the idiots/ morons you refer to. Like “Wally” – apologies to all Walters out there… or maybe “duh”. At my (co-educational) school in the 70’s Thursday always used to be “Duhs-day”.

    • Percipient

      Pulling a bit of tikkum olam, I see?

      Here’s a gift, a few more tags for this post: misandrist, hater, pissed off, f*cked off

      You spot it you got it Missie Sarah. But that’s okay. Many of us harbour these feelings and sentiments on a continual basis but we just don’t know how (and where) to express them. Me, I been planning to pull a Breivik on the crowds for a long time… anyone around here know where I can get some cheap ammo and thermite?



    • Iqshan

      This sight is full of dooses too with doos tendencies to promote all sorts of doos agendas from militant veganism to the kind of feminism Stalin would approve of. Look, some of them have even commented altready

    • Hugh

      Koos – this is a word that has morphed from Afrikaans to SA English. Great way to spot fellow saffers overseas.
      Computer training days ages ago – learn to distinguish DOS from doos.

    • adam quill

      I love it ! Well done ! Tell it like it is baby !

    • Kalahari Doringboom

      You could use the word ‘hoededoos’ just to get those people standing on their soapdose off your tail.

    • http://firefox Dinky

      Sarah – the minute a female goes non-PC; males take umbrage and call us feminist.
      To really vent, I agree, Afrikaans is the best language, as it is expressive and to the point.
      English version…..

      Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged says it all in many words
      “It did not seem real to her.
      There was no action she could take against the men of undefined thought, of unnamed motives, of unstated purposes, of unspecified morality.
      There was nothing she could say to them—nothing would be heard or answered.
      What were the weapons, in a realm where reason was not a weapon any longer?
      It was a realm she could not enter.
      She had to leave it to Jim and count on his self-interest.
      Dimly, she felt the chill of a thought telling her that self-interest was not Jim’s motive.” i.e. Jim is a Doos.

    • Andrew
    • KMS

      You made my day. You are my heroine….most of the time. If you are sensitive dear reader….simply use BOX!

    • ae

      Why is it every time the heading and the content is worlds apart.
      Why use the crude wording for the vagina when other words would be becoming a woman (I almost said lady)

    • Lennon

      Firstly: Changing the word from “doos” to anything else for the sake of being PC does not change that fact that there is emotion and intent behind what Sarah is saying. Calling a cripple “differently abled” does not change the fact that the person in question is crippled.

      Secondly: Pretty much everyone on Sarah’s list seems to fit the description. Can we get an international list?

    • BillyC

      I’m amazed that no-one seems to have gotten the literal translation of doos and that is “box” (hence doos wyn). which is only occasionally used to describe a vagina The pejorative doos seems to be have morphed into douche or douchebag in more current slang

      Not sure what brought on this little rant. Someone must have dinged Sarah’s Landie Epoque

    • Isabella vd Westhuizen

      People who say it is sexist to use words referring to our female bits to describe idiots are offending women are only looking at half of our language. We call lots of people pricks and dickheads so it is not just female genitalia that are used as swear words

    • The Praetor

      I think it should be doosse!

      PS. You forgot to mention the biggest doosse…Bad drivers!

      The Praetor

    • Felix furtak

      Dear Sarah I deeply sympathize with your sentiments, but in all due fairness, lets look at SA woman… a simple example, when they say no they mean actually yes… and probably other way, around making it virtually impossible to have consensual intercourse with them. I think we have a problem with the national psyche which is gender transgressing…. however I have no plan how to heal it….. we cant just ask a sizable part of the population to leave… Felix : a European man, who finds all the good manners that he learned in his home continent completely inappropriate down here ( another SA expression BTW )
      But there must be hope, it took Europe a couple of decades to get there and you STILL find dooses there.

    • Percipient

      My favourite post of Sarah’s to date. It gave me the chance to viciously self-flagellate and indulge in a bit of good old-fashioned self-hatred but with a wry grin on my chin and anyone who doesn’t experience this occasional state of meshugaas ain’t fully human, they’re denying themselves of the full gambit of living and I see them everywhere, I see them in traffic jams, I see them in the deli, on the webz, I occasionally look at him in the mirror, heck I’ve even seen them in the slammer but there is nothing more vile and disgusting than the type of human who pretends to be what he/she is NOT and there is at least one of them present on this page (no, I refer not to you Iqshan) but he/she knows who he/she is… A-hole.

      @ Iqshan: you spot it you got it son.

      Regards again,


    • Counter

      Is someone who drives around in an SUV and then complains about the environmental damage of tar sand utilization classified as a doos?

    • Lenny Appadoo

      Not enough politicians and priests were fingered…

      Allow me to finish the job.

      99% of the members of our government are dooses.

    • Mary Hinge

      Maybe ol Sarah just cannot bring herself to indicate the exact individuals she rants about, but methinks most of those in government don’t like the idea of living in Canada.

    • Mike Venter

      Stunning, love it!!

      Somebody got the balls, sorry guts to say it, well done Sarah we, SA, need to be told in proper Afrikaans so everybody can understand it to shape up.

    • ice cream snackwich

      Oh the irony! middle finger to environmental issues? ha ha, exactly how environmentally friendly is that land rover of yours?

    • Rod of Sydney

      Narcissists or social pychopaths (which I assume you are referring to) are like that because of positive reinforcement.

      You have to stand up to them or don’t lie down with them – no matter how much strength and security they seem to offer. Me thinks this is anti-biology though. There are enough men and women who are happy to please/show subservience to this type and (effectively) be “told” what to do.

    • Steve

      Ag Sarah, you are the doos, man!

    • Anon

      Good read, FRESH read(straight to the point). I agree with you, dooses only thrive because they are being condoned. I mean look at the comments above, people don’t want to confront the issue(s) you are trying to address; so instead they are either making off topic comments or ridiculing the letter.

      We have heard what the dooses have to say now we need more voices like yours, so BIG UPS from me.

    • Mike

      Koos makes the point with regard to spelling.
      Is it Doos, Does, or perhaps something a little different.
      Our unique South African mix of languages and cultures often give me reason not just to smile but collapse laughing out loud (LOL?) as the current state of the english language would have it.
      But what if it were not quite english, or not really afrikaans but perhaps a mixture of both. Port Elizabeth is not unique to the language of our more colourful citizens but this for me is a classic.
      For months, no perhaps it was years, there existed a classic bit of graffiti on the wall of a mosque alongside the motorway, that I never, ever, understood……………and then one day after having driven past it for the umpteenth time, it dawned on me, and I just LOL’d for weeks thereafter:
      And that, for just says it all.

    • Lennon

      @ Lenny: Isn’t it the other way around? I heard that the Vatican is currently dealing with around 4000 cases of fingering.

    • Peter Joffe

      The word that you use so freely is offensive but very apt for the people that you are referring to. The basic problem is these people do not know that they do not know, or they don’t care. Either way they stuff up the country whilst they accumulated unbelievable wealth for themselves. If Mugabe, for instance gave back all the money that he has stolen from ‘his’ people there would be enough to restart the country, the airline and the economy but greed has no limits. At church the other Sunday the Pastor just felt he had to show us a very funny slide, and funny it was. On the back of a hearse, on its way to the cemetery, was a Venter Trailer, so presumable you can take it all with you, that is, of course if you are one of the brainless ‘d&^%ses that are elected by equally brainless people to rape our country.

    • peter

      It would be easier to find someone on this planet who is not a “doos”, but it would be difficult. Maybe a look in the mirror would help. I see a “doos” every morning when I shave. Just being part of the human race automatically qualifies everyone as a “D”.

    • Ernst Marais

      On seeing the blog heading, I thought that you can daily learn a new Afrikaans word from Koos A Kombuis, a creative user of Afrikaans.
      Nice to see that Koos reacted to your writing.

      @The Creator:
      Reading your sermons makes me glad that I am an agnostic.
      Doos can also mean box.
      It is common to say: “Hy is ‘n regte boks”. English meaning can be that he is a square, rigid in his thinking (Like you and Harris)

    • http://Google Roy Low

      Yes !!!. At last someone who is not afraid to tell the truth (and get it published.

      “Doos” is spelt with double ‘O’s”, and whatever the original meaning, it now descibes someone who is a complete idiot.

      Now, if we can get the Gov. to remove the apartheid Vat off all food, non-alcoholic drinks, and particularly books. We are just about the only country that taxes learninga and reading !
      Just think of the benefit to the poor, and all pupils and students. (Where did the stupid term “learners” come from ?

    • Neil

      I always considered Doos to be indicative of the inconsiderate, and selfish.

      Poes, however, is more applicable to those that go out of their way to be a doos.

    • Hendrik

      I find this article very interesting but cannot agree with just four bullets of attributes for dooses. There is another class of doos in society and I am one of them. We are always taken for a ride by others who have their own scaly intentions. I am the ‘hoof doos’ of the village here because I am always at the receiving end – to timid or decent to tell someone to his face that he is dishonest. Join the club!!

    • MLH

      I have a rather bad habit of using ‘silly cunt’ as my most derogatory term. It works well when a man has seriously pissed me off and used to have my partner (before he died) rolling around with amusement. I also habitually use it for drivers of the cars in front of me who do stupid things on the road. In these cases, it is said almost under my breath and sometimes accompanied by a wide, patronising smile.
      On one occasion, when the car ahead swerved suddenly for no good reason, I was beaten to it by my young son, strapped in the car seat behind…his first words. Also said sweetly and calmly…the first real sign that he is his mother’s son!

    • Rich

      Neil, – LOL

      Since reading this I’ve started counting the Dooses I come across daily and the number is getting large.

    • james

      hear hear… life is too short

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      I thought Doos was a box eg “Uit Die Oute Doos” (meaning old fashioned – literally out of the old box).

      But why not just call them “Pricks”?

      Then you won’t be accused of using the female anatomy!

    • Ernst Marais


      Interesting discussion!
      I attended a concert of Koos Kombuis.
      If I recall correctly, one of the songs he sang went something like:
      “Ek is ‘n doos, doos, doos. ”
      It rhymes nicely with “Koos, Koos, Koos”

      Koos doesn’t look like any part of a female anatomy.
      “Koos” can also be a chamber pot.

      Words can have different meaning from the original (Netherlands) meaning.
      A “perdefokker” is not similar to what they do in Australia to sheep but someone who breeds horses.
      Similar, you might be embarrassed when a Netherlands speaker talks about her beautiful cat.

    • Raj Duggal

      Seems odd that this article carries a picture of you and your cock.

    • The Praetor

      Why is everyone saying dooses???

      Hy is ‘n doos…
      Hulle is ‘n klomp doosse!!!

      The Praetor

    • Franki

      Please we all know Sarah is not offending women she is referring to silly bullying offensive idiots.. We all know what a doos is. Ag stop being a doos.

    • Aliki

      While discussing the various grades of doosdom at the golf club one day, we came to the conclusion that a top grade doos should be called “halwe doos” as it has no use whatsoever.

    • http://None Alette

      Sarah my late father used to say: dont swear above my head or below the belt because then you revert to the very low life and cast yourself in hell – I will pray for you and the likes of xou anon. ALETTE

    • Frik


      As one doos to another – no other doos could have said it better.


      Doyen Doseer.

    • Dr Phil

      Great definition of a doos:
      You abuse whatever power you have.
      • You enjoy humiliating and belittling others.
      • You’re bigoted, lifting your leg on standards of common decency at every opportunity.
      • You’re profoundly self-centred.
      I have two words for you – Dave Harris!