Concept

Cooties

Summary
Cooties is a fictitious childhood disease, commonly represented as childlore. It is used in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines as a rejection term and an infection tag game (such as Humans vs. Zombies). It is similar to the British 'dreaded lurgi', and to terms used in the Nordic countries, in Italy, India and Iraq. A child is said to "catch" cooties through close contact with an "infected" person or from an opposite-sex child of a similar age. Origin The word is thought to originate from the Austronesian language family, in which the Philippine, Malaysian-Indonesian, and Māori languages have the word kuto or kutu for a parasitic biting insect. However, it is equally likely the name originated from "cuties", a cynical reference to the same. The earliest recorded uses of the term in English are by British soldiers during the First World War to refer to lice that proliferated in battlefield trenches. A hand-held game,
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