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Cooties (occasionally spelled coodies) is an imaginary disease that little boys say little girls have.

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And what's the subtle difference between Cootie and Coodies? – Stamm Mar 12 '12 at 19:30
@Stamm I'm fairly sure it's just a variant spelling because the /t/ becomes a flap in that word. – Circeus Mar 12 '12 at 23:06
Imaginary? Little girls only? Damn! And I've been applying anti-cootie lotion every day for decades. – Drew Mar 4 at 17:36
@Drew Si un jeune enfant est infesté de poux et donc infecté de cette grave maladie, est-il destiné à devenir infect plus tard (comme le lien entre la varicelle et le zona)? Punaise, ça expliquerait pas mal de chose, quand même! – Papa Poule Mar 4 at 23:58
up vote 11 down vote accepted

To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing as an equivalent to "cooties" in French "childhood culture", either in Europe or North America. You might find references to the other sex being icky, but I have never seen it "formalized" as something like it is in English.

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I'm French. The best translation I can think of is (apparently as "cooties" is an insult boys against girls) "les filles c'est nul" or "les filles ça craint" (not "ça craint / It's scares" but "ça craint / it's the shame of being with, it's boring". Literary translation would be "les filles c'est des pouilleuses", "the girls are dirty / verminous person", but it is not something the child say in real life. This is too "nasty" and the parents scold probably, while "les filles c'est nul" they can smile.

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The local variant I heard is des pisseuses, it refers to little girls, but it's not used by little boys, mostly grown-ups, and it's pejorative also. – Romain VALERI May 27 '13 at 0:48
Cooties (Wikipedia) do not apply only to girls. – Drew Mar 4 at 17:39

In French, we would use something like "la touche pas, elle a des poux" (don't touch her, she has lice).

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I've never heard anything of the sort... – Eusebius Mar 4 at 16:57
louses -> lice – Drew Mar 4 at 17:37
Mais tu comprends bien que les "cooties" en anglais, ils ne indiquent pas une vraie infestation en ce moment? – Patrick Sebastien Mar 8 at 16:13

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