Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang [1992, 2005] ...

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Jul 5 02:08:56 UTC 2009

At 9:09 PM -0400 7/4/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
>On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 8:55 PM, Wilson Gray<hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  Another meaning peculiar to the elderly colored, I reckon.
>>  -Wilson
>No, I've always known it as 'head louse'. It could have also included
>body lice, but I mostly remember hearing it in the context of hair.
>Well, also "catching cooties" from another kid, but I didn't know much
>about the details, and I suspect most of my crew didn't either.
>m a m
>white and not elderly yet
Seems like most dictionaries, at least the online ones, do gloss it
as 'body louse'.  When I was growing up, cooties were always in the
plural, they were invisible, and they were things one accused another
of having or giving.  I think I assumed they were distinct from lice,
which were real, and from other actual critters.  Hard to recall,


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