What is cootie

Discussion in 'Vocabulary & Translation Help' started by kotja, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. kotja

    kotja Member

    Hi, can you explain me what is cootie?
  2. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    :lol: A "cootie" is child's name for "germs." From OED: "A contagious germ; esp. (chiefly Children's slang) an imaginary germ with which a socially undesirable person, or one of the opposite sex, is said to be infected."

    Typically, it is playfully used as an excuse as to why little boys don't like to play with little girls (and vice versa).

    An Example.:
    Dad: "Son, why don't you go play with Jenny next door?"
    Son: "But, Dad, girls have cooties!"
  3. kotja

    kotja Member

    It is not restriction-creature like :"Don't go to the river. Kelpie lives there and it will drown you"
    Am I right?
  4. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    It can be, but not usually, and even then it is usually directed toward a person, rather than discouraging a child from visiting a place, e.g. for safety's sake. Sometimes a parent will try to discourage a child from going somewhere or playing with someone, usually in an (ethnically/racially/religiously/etc.) discriminating context. But I think that this usage has become much more rare in the past twenty or thirty years or so.

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