Made Up Childhood Diseases and Conditions – Including the Dreaded Stinky Cheese Touch!

Last night I was lying in bed and I thought – out of the blue – “Last one in is a rotten egg!” Then I thought, “Oh my! How many times was I a rotten egg and does this condition continue into adulthood?”

Just kidding! I thought, “Where the heck did that come from right before bed?”

This is one of the hazards of devoting your life to childhood lore. Random childhood sayings pop into your mind at different times. Happily, it can lead to a discussion of what’s new in the area of childhood sayings and lore like it did this morning with my children.

According to my kids, they do still say “Last one in is a rotten egg!” It’s an open saying that can refer to many things. It can be about going into a pool, a car, running indoors, etc… It’s a way to challenge someone to race you to get somewhere first!

It seems like that old childhood “disease”, The Cooties, is still around! Many of you may know that “The Cooties” is a game where a girl will touch a boy or a boy will touch a girl and say “You got The Cooties!” Of course, before getting The Cooties, the girls and boys run away from each other. In some versions of the game, if your fingers are crossed when you touched, you can’t get The Cooties.

The “Stinky Cheese Touch” comes from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (soon to be a movie). What’s so neat about this is that the game was made up based on a book that’s only a couple of years old. It’s like the Cooties. One person chases the other kids to give them the “Stinky Cheese Touch” (I believe that part comes from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book Roderick Rules). If the kid has any part of their body crossed (that you can see) they can’t get the Stinky Cheese Touch. If they do get the Stinky Cheese Touch, they have to get rid of it by touching someone else. This is played at my daughter’s elementary school.

A game I hear my daughter play a lot is “Five Minutes to Get Rid of It”. The way this game works is that as soon as you hear a person say “What”, you say, “Five minutes to get rid of It!” It seems to drive kids crazy and it makes it harder for them to speak without using the word “What”. So much so, that it has been banned form my daughter’s school! (No one has ever been able to explain to me what “It” is and what happens if you don’t get rid of “It” in five minutes.)

Finally, I leave you with some taunts that I grew up with in the 70’s and 80’s that are still around today.

When someone farts you can say:

“Who laid an egg?” or
“Who cut the cheese?”

Then the reply to this is:

“Whoever smelt it dealt it!”

If someone lies, kids say:

“Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

Here are some old time responses to taunts which are still used today:

“I’m rubber, you’re glue. It bounces off of me and sticks to you.”


Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names (or words) will never hurt me.”

Feel free to share any childhood games or sayings you know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed to protect you from those nasty childhood diseases!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 5:02 pm and is filed under Books & Stories, Countries & Cultures, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, English, Games Around the World, Getting Rid of It, Languages, Made-up Childhood Diseases and Conditions, Mama Lisa, Rotten Egg, Stinky Cheese Touch, Taunts and Replies, The Cooties, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Responses to “Made Up Childhood Diseases and Conditions – Including the Dreaded Stinky Cheese Touch!”

  1. Lisa Says:

    That’s great Uly! I forgot about the “Cootie Shot” to cure the cooties… “Circle, circle, dot, dot, now you have the cootie shot!”

  2. Uly Says:


    2. Just the other day I snagged a copy of one of the Opies’ books, I Saw Esau. They catalogued many parts of kid culture in Britain. They don’t give “Liar liar pants on fire” but a much older rhyme “Liar liar lickspit” which has the distinction of being quoted by Shakespeare.

  3. Lisa Says:

    I found this on “Liar Liar Lick-spit” from “English folk-rhymes: a collection of traditional verses relating to places” by G. F. Northall (1892)…

    ” Liar, liar, lick-spit,” etc. Mr. Hazlitt, Proverbs, 1882, quotes Chettle’s Tragedy of Hoffman, 1631 (written long before it was printed) thus-

    ” Liar, liar, lick-spit,
    Your tongue shall be slit;
    And all the dogs in the town
    Shall have a little bit.”

    And the following from “The nursery rhymes of England: obtained principally from oral tradition” (1843):

    Liar, liar, lick spit,
    Turn about the candlestick.
    What’s good for liar ?
    Brimstone and fire.

    Here’s another from Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales by James Orchard Halliwell:

    Liar, liar, lick dish,
    Turn about the candlestick.

    I can’t find where it comes from in Shakespeare’s plays so far. Anyone?

    I’d also be curious to know if any of these are still said in England.

    Mama Lisa

  4. Lisa Says:

    Marijka wrote:

    HOLY MOLY!! You sure found an interesting topic and ran with it! I can’t remember much, except for the ones you stated. Does punching someone when you see a yellow Volkswagen Bug count? I still do this today just to get a punch in :) if I’m angry with my husband, Joe.

    Later she wrote:

    Check this out. I found it at…

    Punch Buggy – The Official Rules

    Thanks for sharing that Marijka! Funny (as long as I’m not the one getting punched)!


  5. Lisa Says:

    Frances Turnbull wrote from England:

    “Been asking around about liar, liar, lickety split, was it? Lancashire/Yorkshire (north) born mother in law doesn’t recognise it, Kent born mother (south) thinks it came from Scotland. Personally, I learnt, liar, liar, pants on fire, nose as long as a telephone wire!”

    That’s a great one Frances! Thanks for asking around about Liar, Liar, Lickety Spit”.


  6. Nelson Rivera Says:

    Great post. My kids have been playing the “Five Minutes to Get Rid of It” game and it has been driving me bonkers!

    Searching on that term alone has given me a bit of insight into what “it” might be and why “it” drives everyone mad.

    Interestingly enough, I found that a Facebook Page has been created for this game, as well. I’ll have to check that out to see if I can gain any more insight.

    P.S. Regarding the Volkswagon Punch Bug rules. VW has put out a whole new set of commercials related to the “Punch Bug” but they are doing it for all of their VW cars now and not just the Bug. In fact, in one of the commercials they have Stevie Wonder who yells out “Red One” and punches Tracy Morgan in the arm. To which Tracy remarks, “How do you do that?!” In case no one gets the joke, Stevie Wonder is blind.

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