Trinidad Folklore Douen

Trini Folklore: Douen

  • Douen, Duende, Douaine, Doune, Dwen, Duegne (n): A Folklore character, the spirit of a child who died before baptism.  Douens wear large hats, have backwards-pointing feet, utter a soft hooting cry, and often lead children to wander off.  <Spanish duende ‘goblin’>
    • Nex’ ting you know douen hauntin’ TTT, an’ we seein’ all dem programmes runnin’ backwards instead of upside-down as dey does run sometimes. (Keens-Douglas 1984:3)


I remember growing up in Mayaro and my grand father Papa John telling us grand kids stories about the creatures of the night. This was a simple but useful tactic used by adults to keep children in their place and from wandering the streets at night.

Leave us a comment below of Trini phrases you have heard.

Source: Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago by Lise Winer

Featured Image by KongQueror.

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