Trivia

Hard

The First Use Of The Term “Cooties” In English Was To Refer To?

Lice
Malaria
Rabies
Crickets
An April 1922 news photo of a World War I-era trench cootie.
South Bend News-Times/Wikimedia

Answer: Lice

If you spent even a wee bit of your childhood in the U.S., then you most certainly encountered the dreaded, but entirely imaginary, childhood disease “cooties”. While the rules of transmission and infection vary quite wildly between groups of children and variations of the “disease” with differing names are found all over the world, there’s one thing very concrete about cooties: the way the term entered the English language.

The word first appeared in English when used by British soldiers in World War I to refer to the lice that ran rampant in battlefield trenches. Although the origin of the slang term isn’t precisely known, it is believed to have come into the soldiers’ lingo by way of the Philippine, Malaysian-Indonesian, and Maori word kuto or kutu, which refers to a parasitic biting insect.

The term cooties in turn jumped across the Atlantic, again by way of military activity, when American soldiers returning from South Pacific service alongside British soldiers popularized the term in the U.S. during the 1950s.

Trivia

Hard

A Man Was Freed From Jail After Outtakes From Which TV Show Provided Him With An Airtight Alibi?

Trivia

Hard

Which U.S. State Has The Longest Official Name?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Living Turtle Species Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Which Console Was The First To Offer 16-Bit Games?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Company Pushed The Term “Game Console”?

Trivia

Hard

Carl Sagan Hailed Which Time Travel Movie As The Most Accurate?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Longest Song To Make It Into The Top 10 Billboard Hits Is?

Trivia

Very Hard

Nintendo’s First Hit Toy Was?

Trivia

Hard

The First Successful Remote Computer Connection Linked What Together?

Trivia

Hard

Who Invented The Countdown?