Help please!

What does the boy on the bus say? Is that an idiom?


  • He appears to be saying "or get cooties" which when added to his previous statement "I'll never get to ride a bike" makes up the sentence "I'll never get to ride a bike or get cooties" - I don't think "get cooties" counts as an idiom.
    – Frank
    Feb 2, 2015 at 11:54
  • Thanks. Interestingly enough, I did not find any references to "cooties" in my Longman dictionary but there is an entry on the Wikipedia. So how am I supposed to know that? Only by having kids? :-) Feb 2, 2015 at 12:18
  • Interesting that thefreedictionary.com/Cooties the Free Dictionary has a number of entries stating that it's headlice - Pediculidae. I always thought it was an imaginary germ.
    – Frank
    Feb 2, 2015 at 12:38
  • From this wiki page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooties#Cooties_game "A child is said to "catch" cooties through any form of bodily contact, proximity, or touching of an "infected" person or from a person of the opposite sex of the same age. Often the "infected" person is someone who is perceived as "different", such as being of the opposite sex, disabled, shy..." I think it fits the context of this commercial :-) Feb 2, 2015 at 12:51
  • 3
    I never thought to check but OED has cootie as slang (presumably UK) for A body louse back in WW1 times but from the late 1960's as orig. U.S. A contagious germ; esp. (chiefly Children's slang) an imaginary germ with which a socially undesirable person, or one of the opposite sex, is said to be infected. Usu. in pl. I always thought it was American - learned something new today.
    – Frank
    Feb 2, 2015 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


In the commercial a young boy says that he "will never get cooties", this is illustrated with a scene where a young boy is kissed on the cheek by a girl.

The literal meaning of cooties is lice but the scene in the commercial is decidedly not about lice.

Instead, the expression "getting cooties" as used here derives from a childish expression of fear of the opposite sex.

From OED:

  1. orig. and chiefly U.S. A contagious germ; esp. (chiefly Children's slang) an imaginary germ said to have infected a person of the opposite sex or someone considered socially undesirable. Usually in pl.

There is a fairly widespread notion among young children that the opposite sex have these (purely imaginary) "cooties" and that you too will get cooties if you were to interact. Often this is seen in the context of young boys who think that romance and girls are gross and thus fear "girl cooties".

I think it's safe to say that the actual message of the scene is that this kid will never experience romance/falling in love.

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