The only place where I’ve ever spotted a "doofpot" was at my grandparents’ place. My grandfather used to put the ashes of his pipe’s tobacco in it and I remember we were warned not to put any paper in it. In its literal meaning of "extinguisher", most "doofpotten" will be found at antique stores. In its figurative sense, "doofpot" is still used very often in newspapers when describing hush-hush politics or some scandal that was covered up.
The word "doof" is generally used in its translation of "deaf", however in "doofpot" it is derived from the verb "doven" which means "to extinguish". "Pot" means "jar" or "pot".
- "Mijn grootouders hadden een koperen doofpot."
("My grandparents had a copper extinguisher.")
- "Iets in de doofpot stoppen": to cover something up, to sweep something under the carpet.
- "De buitenechtelijke affaires van prins Bernard werden in de doofpot gestopt."
("The extramarital affairs of prince Bernard were covered up.")
- "De redenen voor het gedwongen aftreden van de Minister President werden in de doofpot gestopt."
("The reasons for the impeachment of the Prime Minister were hushed.")
- Doof: deaf [adjective/adverb].
- Doven: to extinguish [verb] [doofde, gedoofd].
- "De priester doofde de kaarsen in de kerk."
("The priest put out the candles in the church.")
- Pot: jar, pot [noun] [de pot, de potten].