cootie catcher

Sun Aug 6 12:59:10 UTC 2000

Rima wrote:

>>>I recently encountered a device made of folded paper, that grade
>>>kids used for telling fortunes (when I was one.)

>>Wow, haven't thought about those for years.  But I *never* heard the
>>term cootie catcher.  I can't remember what, if anything in
>>particular we called it, but it wasn't cootie catcher.  NYC in the

The fortune-tellers I do not recall from my youth.  My eight-year old
is fond of making them.  My wife and I remember the folde paper
(beak-like) device as a cootie catcher.  My memory of cootie catchers
is from the early '50's.  They were aimed at another's head as much as
the arm.   Perhaps the fortune-teller is the PC version of a cootie

I haven't found any dictionary evidence of coctie catcher.


David K. Barnhart, Editor
The Barnhart Dictionary Companion [quarterly]
barnhart at

"Necessity obliges us to neologize."
Thomas Jefferson-August 16, 1813

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