About folded paper fortune-tellers


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About this game (international)

How to make and play (with links)

Beryl's games

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Beryl home page

All the British people I've talked to played this kind of folded paper game as children, but no-one could remember its name. 'The game with no name' seems to exist in many countries under different names:

Some international variations:

The Fortune-Teller version
'how to' page)
Russia: "Gadalotschka" - refers to fortune telling (& possibly 'frogs'?)
Norway: "Spå" (pronounced 'spoor') or "Spålapp", which means something like "fortune telling piece of paper".
France: "Cocotte en papier" (cocotte is slang for a hen).

"Cootie Catcher"
In North America these games are called either fortune-tellers or cootie catchers. They mostly follow the fortune-teller pattern, but cooties are (in the dictionary) head-lice, possibly from the Malaysian word kutu. They are more generally an invisible infectious disease which children say other children have, and hence have to be run away from (like the British 'Dreaded Lurgy"). Girls, it seems, were thought to be particular carriers of 'cooties'. I've found a net site with a version of the game with
cooties inside. I'd like to know more!

Heaven and Hell
The inside 'mouth' was drawn on to make a picture of 'heaven' when opened one way, 'hell' when opened the other. Common in Austria, Germany, andSlovakia (there called "Nebo Peklo").


Banff, Sunderland, and Norway.