Rivalry Question of the Week: Dookies versus Tar Holes

This week’s question is inspired by an email from Dan, who writes:

It’d be great if you write about the nicknames some time. I’m particularly interested in “dook.” I don’t know anyone from Duke who finds it insulting, or even annoying, but many UNC fans seem to treat it as a real “gotcha” stinger.

And also by a g-chat with William:

William: you should do a follow up to the dook fighting post about the heels fighting styles.
William: haha, sorry, i always spell it dook out of habit.

So, here are the questions of the week:

1 – Where does ‘dook’ come from? I realize a dook is a piece of fecal matter, but I want to know the origin story, and how it caught on so well. How old is it?

2 – When you say ‘dook,’ is it just a habit, like with William, or is it an active insult every time? Is it meant more as a zinger, or is it a way of life?

3 – For people who say ‘Tar Holes’- is this a response to ‘dook,’ or an independent insult?

I would like to hear from both Puke and CaroVagina fans on this one.

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25 Responses to Rivalry Question of the Week: Dookies versus Tar Holes

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  1. Brian says:

    Tar Hole… like asshole. I believe. Wouldn’t be 100% certain on its actual origins, but seems to be right.

  2. Nate says:

    Intriguing. I’d venture to guess that both terms came from message boards (as RW says, the “crapnet”). When I spell it dook, it’s more a way of life than a zinger. I could care less if a dookie – fun to say in its own right – reads it and is offended. It’s more of an autoidentification behavior that signals my affiliation to other fans. Kind of like a handshake.

    Yes, I was a psych major in college.

  3. Lance Nickel says:

    The term “Dookie” has long been used to identify Duke students, players, and fans, at least since the late 80’s / early 90’s when I was in the triangle (as an added bonus to my credibility, I worked at Chapel Hill for my first 3.5 years down there and Duke for another two). “Dook,” being nothing more than a shortened form of the slang term “dookie,” is a natural extension of that. I don’t recall ever seeing “Dook” back then. Then again, not every numbnut on the face of the earth was blogging, tweeting, and facebook-statusing back then so there were far fewer opportunities to see things in writing. But all of the dookified derogatory t-shirts and posterboard signs I saw among Carolina fans, State fans, and other Duke-haters referred to the “Dookies” in some way shape or form. The shirts and such simply saying “dook…” I can definitely say I never saw back then.

    In sum…to answer the question of which came first, the Dookie or the Dook…the answer is: Dookie.

  4. John K says:

    I’m with Nate, it mostly just became a habit while I was in undergrad…just a self-identification thing that maybe was once worthy of a small chuckle. When I do it now, it’s just a mistaken remnant of my past and really doesn’t mean anything. If I ever see it used in a plainly pejorative sense now, I just think it looks childish. I’ve always got the impression that Tarholes was a reactionary comeback, but maybe that’s a self-centered perspective…

  5. Lance Nickel says:

    Also, I would say that even back in my day, “Tarhole” was much more prevalent than “Dookie,” but again that could be because Tarhole is obviously different to the ear than Tarheel, whereas Dookie is indistinguishable from Dukie.

    1. Shane says:

      That’s interesting, because I think I see Dook way more often. I can’t remember too many people saying ‘Tar Hole’ at Duke, but maybe my memory’s foggy. You make a great point, though, that you can’t tell if someone is ‘saying’ Dook. Indistinguishable. When Carolina fans say the word from now on, I’m going to ask them which spelling they have in mind.

      1. Lance Nickel says:

        hmmm…perhaps try this experiment: Start a blog called “JamesMcAdooSavesUNC” and see how much you hear Tarholes then.

        But you also have to remember, everyone hates Duke, some with great vitriol (Maryland, University of and Entire State Of, for example). Carolina’s only “natural enemy” of late is Duke. Obviously State is a factor for both, but generally speaking the State contingent has a stronger dislike for Duke than Carolina.

        1. William says:

          “Obviously State is a factor for both, but generally speaking the State contingent has a stronger dislike for Duke than Carolina.”

          You clearly don’t know many (or any) State fans…

        2. sanfransoxfan says:

          William is correct. State’s “rival,” whether UNC acknowledges it or not, is UNC. Duke has never merited a lot of attention. Being a part of the same school system makes them siblings, with all the sibling rivalry you’d expect. It will also be interesting to see what would happen if NCSU raised its athletic profile back to say 70’s levels – UNC/State had a really high level of animosity then.

      2. Nate says:

        Hmm. Not sure I agree with Lance – I suspect State fans much more deeply hate Carolina than Duke. Thus, I would expect the term “Tar Hole” to actually come out of Raleigh rather than Durham. After all, Carolina’s “natural” rival until the dookies came along (ha!) was State.

        Plus, it’d kill State fans to see Carolina have a nickname for their rival with no opposition.

        1. TarHeelAlex says:

          First I agree with William’s post. Have you ever logged onto PackPride? It is a giant vendetta against Carolina.

          As for us, our periods of rivalry with Duke & State were conditioned historically on both year and sport. When Duke & Carolina were football powerhouses once upon a time (’40s, ’50s), that was the biggest rival. In the 1960s, Carolina-Duke basketball (Brown-Heyman fight for example) sent that to the fore. In the ’70s and ’80s, State was bigger (because they were, gasp, good!). In the 1990s and 2000s though Duke basketball obviously has become our biggest rivals, although State-Carolina football surpasses Duke-Carolina football (regardless of the Victory Bell or it being the last game of the season). Part of that obviously is the ugh four straight for State. And the fact they care more about football than most Heels do.

  6. marshallplumleesavesduke says:

    I’d say that Dook is a way of intentionally showing your disrespect for the school, identifying yourself as someone who hates Duke. It reminds me of republicans who say the “democrat party.” It’s not a very good insult, but it’s annoying as a Duke fan to see it.

    1. Shane says:

      Yeah, it’s one of those little pestering things, isn’t it?

  7. William says:

    Here’s a little history lesson for you. The origins actually come from the annual Beat Dook Parade that my fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, used to put on.

    Started in 1933, the parade was held the morning of the UNC-dook football game every year up until 2000, when the Chapel Hill PD decided to ban the parade from occurring again (for drunk driving of floats and inappropriate behavior of participants among other reasons).

    The term dook was first introduced in this parade when a member of the fraternity spelled it that way on the initial banner that was supposed to lead the parade. I’m not sure the exact year, but it was one of the first couple of years of the parade.

    Here’s a few links for your reference:
    Chapel Hill News blip about it:

    A photo from 1949:

    Daily Tar Heel story about it ending (story is gone, but headline remains):

    And the event that replaced it in 2001 for PiKA alumni:

    1. HalfManWolfpack says:

      Wowzer, a PiKA and a Tar Hole…your douchebaggery cup runneth over.

      P.S. you were definitely right about us hating on Carolina more than Duke though.

      1. Shane says:

        First line of this comment made me laugh out loud. Will, a PiKA?? Jesus.

        1. William says:

          If it were at any school other than UNC, I would agree with you. The pikas most places are total douches. The ones at UNC (at least while I was there) are a lot different than other schools though. Nationals hated us because we pretty much disregarded them and all the other chapters. We did we wanted and typically ignored requests/advice from the national organization, but they couldn’t drop us because we were one of the first chapters to be formed (founded 1868) and one of few remaining alpha chapters.

          But enough pika history…let’s get back to talking shit about dook.

      2. Shane says:

        Good history lesson, though.

    2. TarHeelAlex says:

      The only thing I hate when looking at those photos from say the 1949 parade is the fact we don’t do stuff like that anymore. SOmetimes I wish it was the old days when people didn’t get offended so easily-that parade looks super fun.

      1. Jacob "the destoryer" says:

        Those old pictures just remind me of the float scene in Animal House.


      2. William says:

        The stories from the parade in the old days are phenominal, like this gem:

        If you talk to people who were in school back in the 60’s and 70’s, it sounds like it was pretty wild. I really wish I had seen it at its height.

  8. William says:

    I’ll also add this classic joke:
    If Krzyzewski is pronounced “Sha-sheff-ski”, then shouldn’t Duke be pronounced “douche”?

    1. sanfransoxfan says:

      That’s pretty funny.

  9. sanfransoxfan says:

    “Puke” is clever. “dook” is a real shoulder shrugger.

  10. CarMichael says:

    William– was that a “Beat Dook” parade in 1949, or just “Beat Duke”? Do you have any evidence that the “dook” spelling was used that long ago?

    I’ll repeat another explanation that I first heard twenty or thirty years ago. It’s that the dialect of Piedmont and Eastern North Carolina calls for the pronunciation “Dyook” (also “Tyoosday,” “nyoomerous,” etc. The pronunciation “dook” marks the speaker as a non-native, for example, someone from the Northeast. So the original point of the spelling “dook” was that, nowadays, Duke students are aliens who are unable to pronounce the name of their own school correctly according to local tradition.

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