•About this Critter•
‘Cooties’ (sometimes called “Kooties” or “Koodies”)
Are the most dreaded (fictional) disease spread by children to each other via any form of bodily contact with someone else [Typically those of the opposite gender, or for another ‘childish’ reason usually playing off the other parties insecurities, such as body shaming.] - Regardless of the particulars, if you had ‘cooties’ then your social standing was immediately over & everyone would avoid you! -
Cures: Those ‘infected’ could be immunized by tracing the skin with a finger & rhyming: “Circle, circle, Dot, dot, – Now you’ve got a cootie shot!” - [There are of course numerous variations to that rhyme.]
“Cootie catchers” where an origami fortune telling game (which had existed prior to cooties, since the 17th century.) they became popular in the 50’s in america and came to be popuarly known as a ‘cootie catcher’ in addition to the fortune telling use, they can also be used as a method of removing cooties from your friends, without fear of being ‘infected.’
if neither of those worked: thankfully, You’d also become ‘immune’ to cooties when you reach 13 or Puberty (whichever came first.)
The term ‘cooties’ seems to have originated as slang for ‘Lice’ in WW1. Later on, the word “cooties” came to be more used loosely used as an expression meaning ‘imaginary/unknown germs or bugs.’ There are of course several variant names for “cooties’ world wide such as Britans: ‘dreaded lurgi’ - I’m sure that most places have ‘cooties’ or some sort of variant!! (Let me know your local lingo!!!)
Occasionally, cooties might be mistaken or used interchangably for “the love bug” / “the kissing bug” they are related in the sense that children pass them to each other, but seem to bring on their own issues & be their own creatures. (Lovebugs particuarly bring on childhood Crushes &/or contageous Smooching.) - As they sang in the movie ‘Hair spray’ (1988, based in the 60’s) the bug might’ve originated ‘from space’ too.
The Cootie Game: in most depictions, Cooties are Typically depicted as ‘a bug with 6 legs, something close to an ant or a grub.’ this is of course, in thanks to W.H. “Herb” Schaper (1948) who re-invented: ‘the cootie game’ - [which was originally a turn/dice based, drawing game, dating back as far as 1918 where ladies would take turns drawing parts of a ‘cootie’ insect.] - Schaper used 3D parts [which he had based on a fishing lore.] later the game was picked up by Milton Bradley in ’86!
Robbinsdale, Minnesota (where Schaper is from) also does annual ‘cootie hunts’ and even erected giant cootie statues in 2018 to celebrate his accomplishments [the last slide is from the original cooties game manual from 1948]
I decided to label ‘cooties’ as a type of “fearsome critter” because they are often overlooked as folklore almost never counted as ‘Cryptids’ or even as ‘Urban Legends’ - Most teachers/adults would shrug it off as ‘kids just being kids’ & we usually outgrow the belief by puberty, but reguardless, they most certainly are creatures of folklore - Make no mistake: “Childlore: 100% counts as a type of ‘folklore’ and there have been acedemic studies on the "cootie condition" in past
- because of their teasing nature it just makes sense to me to classify them as ‘Fearsome critters’!! :)
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo thats me!) - Part of my Fearsome critters/Urban Legends collection, weather resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more!