The snack brand's new popcorn is covered in the cheesy, orange powder.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated January 15, 2020
Advertisement

You open a bag of Cheetos. You start being cheesy, and it's surprisingly easy. You blow past the recommended serving size. Finished, you look at your fingers. What do you see? If you answered, "A regret-inducing caking of orange powder," you're technically right—but you could have covered it with one word: Cheetle.

Diehard fans may be familiar with the term, but more casual Cheetos customers may be surprised to know that "the delicious cheesy dust that lingers on their fingertips" (the brand's words) has its own official name. In fact, none other than Dictionary.com traced the entire history of the word: "Cheedle" was likely coined by comedian Rich Hall in the ‘80s, becoming "Cheetle" by the mid-2000s—which is when it first scored a spot on Urban Dictionary. Then, at some point, Cheetos itself fully embraced the word, with Dictionary.com saying the brand has tweeted it since at least 2015. And there you have it: Etymology at its most delicious.

AbbieImages/Getty Images

But why should we care now? Cheetos has been playing up the term because, as the brand explains, for "the first time ever...popcorn has been infused with Cheetle." Yes, official Cheetos Popcorn has landed on store shelves. (If it sounds a little familiar, a Cheetos popcorn had previously been introduced at Regal Cinemas.)

"Cheetos' new ready-to-eat Popcorn brings the legendary taste of the iconic Cheetos seasoning to one of America's snacking favorites, swapping the butter and salt for the cheesy and spicy flavors fans know and love," Cheetos writes. "Available in two flavors—Cheddar and Flamin' Hot—Cheetos Popcorn will step up fans' snacking game with cheesy and Flamin' Hot twists on a snack perfect for any occasion."

Brandi Ray, senior director of marketing for Cheetos maker Frito-Lay North America, then hammered the term "Cheetle" home. "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," she said. "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." Because what's the point of eating if not to make a mess of your hands??

Cheetos Popcorn is in stores now. Now if only Frito-Lay made some Cheetos brand wet wipes.