what are those paper ‘fortune tellers’ called?
September Two, 2004 7:45 AM Subscribe
Those fortune telling paper things kids make, sort of origami-y. there’s four upside down cups that you put your fingers in, the faces have numbers or colours on them, then after a complicated “pick a number, pick a colour” game, you unfold something and an reaction is exposed.
What are those called?
posted by Capn to Writing & Language (17 answers total)
Paper Fortuneteller or “Cootie Catcher”, seemingly.
posted by ed\26h at 7:47 AM on September Two, 2004
Those, my friend, are elegantly known as “cootie catchers”.
No, gravely. Ask Google.
posted by annathea at 7:48 AM on September Two, 2004
This site says they are also referred to as “Salt Cellars.”
posted by Otis at 7:55 AM on September Two, 2004
We used to write M A S H on one set of four inwards sections, and Four chick’s names on the other four. On the outsied we wrote colors or numbers. Very first you pick a color and spell it out, opening and closing as you went. Then pick one of the numbers and do the same thing. Or something. Eventually you open the flap and learn that you’re going to live in a Crimson (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) with Tonya and 6 kids.
I’ve never heard any of these names however. I don’t know what we called them. I think we said, “Let’s play MASH”
posted by jacobsee at 8:14 AM on September Two, 2004
I reminisce watching them in one of those “make things out of paper” books that called them “Magic Beaks”
Makes sense, I guess, but we just called them “fortune tellers.”
posted by bondcliff at 8:16 AM on September Two, 2004
Here’s another vote for “cootie catchers.”
posted by Coffeemate at 8:35 AM on September Two, 2004
The Yawning Mouth of Horrible Fate
Actually I don’t reminisce that we called them anything in particular, which is kind of weird.
posted by picea at 8:54 AM on September Two, 2004
posted by Succa at 8:58 AM on September Two, 2004
We did MASH totally differently–the different categories were written on the sides of a square drawn on paper, and then a spiral was drawn in the middle, then there was some arcane way of counting the rings of the spiral, then going around the square and marking off the different choices.
Ah, the days of living in a shack with six kids and driving a Porsche.
posted by padraigin at 9:01 AM on September Two, 2004
Certainly a ‘Cootie Catcher’. In the same family as the Paper Balloon and Paper Popper
posted by jasondigitized at 9:12 AM on September Two, 2004
we called them fortune tellers.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:59 AM on September Two, 2004
Another vote for cootie catchers, here. And like padraigin, our version of MASH also used the spiral. I still anxiously await my marriage to Jeff Schroeder and our crimson Honda Civic and our 17 children running around our apartment in London!
posted by scody at 12:07 PM on September Two, 2004
posted by rglasmann at 12:32 PM on September Two, 2004
Wow. maybe I was wrong about the MASH thing in the fortune teller thingys. argh my childhood memories are so hazy! I don’t reminisce anything about a spiral, but what padraigin and scody describe DOES sound familiar.
I’m sure kids combined all kinds of different games in different areas. I grew up in Wyoming, USA. Are these various terms native to certain regions or countries?
posted by jacobsee at Three:14 PM on September Two, 2004
jacobsee, we did the MASH thing in the paper fortune tellers. So you are very likely not crazy. I grew up in Seattle. (We just called them “fortune tellers,” incidentally, not “cootie catchers.”)
posted by litlnemo at 8:51 PM on September Two, 2004
Cootie Catcher in Michigan. In 6th grade the teacher was unhappy because I was folding one, and made me create a large number of them, which in turn had my mother pissed off. (idiots all, I learn better when playing with something in my forearms).
The fortune telling part we used was just numbers and colors. Any stupid thing could be written inwards, often not even a fortune. This was in the mid 60’s.
posted by Goofyy at 11:05 PM on September Two, 2004