- a louse, especially one affecting humans, as the body louse, head louse, or pubic louse.
- a child's term for an imaginary germ or disease that one can catch by touching a person who is disliked or socially avoided: The girls at camp thought the boys had cooties.
Origin of cootie1
1910–15; perhaps < Malay kutu biting body louse, with final syllable conformed to -ie
- a wooden container, especially a wooden bowl, for storing or serving food or drink.
Origin of cootie2
1775–85; variant of Scots cood, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cooty
"Cooty" would not have that, but calmly began to refill an empty magazine.
So far as I know, it is the only thing sold that will do the cooty in.
If it is possible to get a louse pomade called Harrison's in this country, send it, as it is a cooty killer.
Poor "Cooty," who had lost his left foot as well, passed out shortly after, was a Guardsman at one time.
"Cooty" was seen to go rigid for a moment, and then he quickly rolled to one side to make way for "Number Two" to take his place.
- US and NZ a slang name for the body louseAlso called (NZ): kutu See louse (def. 1)
C20: perhaps from Malay or Māori kutu louse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for cooty
"body lice," 1917, British World War I slang, earlier in nautical use, said to be from Malay kutu "dog tick."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper