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

Alison Murie sagehen7470 at ATT.NET
Sun Jul 5 16:44:28 UTC 2009

On Jul 4, 2009, at 9:09 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Mark Mandel <thnidu at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang [1992, 2005] ...
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> 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
Certainly the "cootie-catcher" of my childhood ( a piece of paper
folded to make a three-dimensional figure that could open up on two
axes, revealing different interiors) was used as a gag to catch the
cooties in another child's hair.  The clean interior was shown, the
swipe through the hair, then the (previously spotted) other interior
showed the caught critters.

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