Frito-Lay has declared the cheesy residue left on your fingertips after eating Cheetos is called “cheetle.” Don Cheadle might be feeling some type of way right now. The press release has caused some confusion on social media with many Twitter users refusing to accept that this is the correct terminology and questioning its origins.
To blow matters perhaps even more out of proportion, actor Ed Helms claims a comedian came up with the word “cheedle” in the 1980s. Some users even pointed out that the term was added to Urban Dictionary in 2005.
Frito-Lay declares Cheetos dust “Cheetle” in official press release.
“We’ve seen the way Cheetos lovers don their red- and orange-dusted fingers like a badge of honor, and we’re always looking for ways to help them step up their snacking game,” Brandi Ray, senior director of marketing, Frito-Lay North America said in a press release. “The only way to truly take popcorn to the next level is to add the iconic Cheetle, the cheesy dust that will entice Cheetos fans to snack on this popcorn all year long.”
The move to bring Cheetle into the popular lexicon comes as Frito-Lay announces new Cheetos popcorn. The snack is popcorn with Cheetle as a topping in two flavors including Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot.
“Snacking on Cheetos has become a special experience for many fans, including the experience of having the iconic cheese dust left on your fingers,” Rachel Ferdinando, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, told TODAY. “We (Frito-Lay executives) have long called that red and orange cheese dust ‘Cheetle,’ but it became clear from our fans the special interest they had, so we knew it was time to share our beloved name for this magic ingredient.”
Where did the term “Cheetle” come from? What is the truth?
Ferdinando claims that Frito-Lay trademarked the term in 2005. An earlier form of the word was spelled “cheedle.” A 2005 entry in Urban Dictionary defines cheetle as, “the orange, powdery residue left on your fingers after eating Cheetos.” Perhaps, a Frito-Lay employee submitted it?
“Frito-Lay officially trademarked ‘Cheetle’ in 2005, but the company hasn’t used (it) externally in much capacity until now and haven’t told consumers about it,” Ferdinando said.
However, the Hangover actor Ed Helms believes the term was invented by Saturday Night Live alumni Rich Hall, who coined “cheedle” in his book sniglets.
“An earlier form of Cheetle, spelled cheedle, was found to be one of the sniglets (fun coinages) of comedian Rich Hall in the 1980s, which he defined as ‘the residue left on one’s fingertips after consuming a bag of Cheetos.’ The first known proper use of Cheetle, as such, was found in a finger-painting online computer game as early as 2004 and 2005, after which the name was first popularly defined on Urban Dictionary,” according to Dictionary.com.
Many Twitter users did not know how to feel about Cheetle.
As can only be expected there were many Don Cheadle jokes, but perhaps the best was the one that differentiated between Don Cheetle (the orange-tanned Donald Trump) and Don Cheadle (the Golden Globe-winning actor).
Some on Twitter wanted to keep things simple.
Other users were just not feeling the name. Why call Cheetos dust “cheetle” when you can call it “Cheetos dust”?
“I love you Cheetos, but no. It’s Cheeto Dust, end of story. In no world am I ever gonna say I have Cheetle on my fingers, WTF,” one user wrote.
Helms wasn’t the only one on social media upset that Rich Hall wasn’t getting his due credit.
“So @Cheetos thinks they have come up with the perfect name of the dusty cheesy residue left on your fingers… Sorry, the name Cheetle was used by Rich Hall on NNTN as one of his @SnigletsOFC back in the ’80s,” another user wrote.
The future is still unwritten, who knows if the term “cheetle” will ever catch on? Personally, I don’t converse about Cheetos enough for it to ever come up casually. Nevertheless, Frito-Lay’s branding effort clearly worked: we’re all talking about cheetle today.