OED Appeal: cooties (probably 1965)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 4 07:11:16 UTC 2012

Here is some progress on "cooties". I guess the date in the subject
line is now obsolete.

Cite: 1955 June 14, New York Times, "Television: Second Banana Is
Tops: Art Carney Excels in 'Studio One' Play" by J. P. Shanley, Page
59, New York. (ProQuest)

[Begin excerpt]
He would tell his wife and his mother at the dinner table about the
day in his 5B classroom when his friend, Hermie Grant, lost his job as
window-pole monitor after having written on the blackboard that "Mr.
Corey [his teacher] has cooties."
[End excerpt]


On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 2:38 AM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      OED Appeal: cooties (probably 1965)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> There is a Google Books match for "cooties" with the desired sense (I
> think) in a psychiatry journal that is probably dated 1965. OED appeal
> says "cootie earlier than 1967".
> Also, the cootie game may have influenced the use of the term by children.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cootie_%28game%29
> Journal: International Psychiatry Clinics
> Volume: 2
> Issue: 1
> Year: 1965
> Page: 190
> Publisher: Boston, Little, Brown and Co. (:ibrary catalog data)
> (Google Books snippet data may be inaccurate)
> http://books.google.com/books?id=TMJLAQAAIAAJ&q=cooties#search_anchor
> [Begin excerpt]
> He would sit at the table with his hands clenched, looking at the
> teacher and repeating, "You old bitch, I hate you, get away from me, I
> don't want to get your cooties." At first attempts to reach him in any
> way increased his anger, but after several ...
> [End excerpt]
> Below is a link to a search for the word January that shows the volume
> with the match contains the January 1965 issue of the journal. Of
> course, it may contain issues fomr other years. But a libabry catalog
> indicates that volume 2, issue 1 was published in 1965.
> http://books.google.com/books?id=TMJLAQAAIAAJ&q=January#search_anchor
> This journal and issue are listed in the catalog of a library that I
> visit about once a month. So I can attempt to scan the relevant pages
> if desired. But I suspect someone will antedate 1965.
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list