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A term derived from the Dutch dollen = play, or its approximate Afrikaans word dobbel = gamble (from its association with gambling dice through the action of "throwing the bones" for which sheep, goat, or similar small knuckle bones which were used by traditional healers for divining) conjoined with os = ox (as knuckle bones were used to represent the oxen in children toys where the ox-waggon was represented by the jaw of a sheep, its span of oxen by a collection of knuckle bones) hence applied to the distinctive precast concrete forms made for dampening wave energy at water edges.

The Dolos was designed by Eric Mowbray MERRIFIELD in 1963.

See also:
Dolos Breakwater Block Memorial, East London Harbour.
Dolos Casting Yard, East London Harbour.