Cootie was originally British naval slang for a head lice. It came into common use by the British military during World War I. The word may have originated from the Malayankutu, meaning dog tick, but kutu is also used in many Pacific Island languages to mean head lice.
Cootie is today American children's slang for "germs", lice or a vague notion of contagious personal contamination.
Cootie is also the name of a table game, the object of which is to be the first player to complete a comic model of an insect from the supplied plastic parts, as determined by the roll of a die. The patent is held by Milton Bradley.
The original cooties were very real and extremely nasty, since the word was first applied to body lice.
There was also the cootie catcher, a folded paper shape that you could use to pretend you had discovered cooties on a schoolmate.
The word sounds Scots, and indeed at one time cootie was a good Scots adjective applied to farmyard fowls with feathered legs (it’s probably from cuit, ankle); a cootie could at one time also be a small wooden dish used in the kitchen for various purposes.
Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Want to know more? Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:
Press Releases |
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m