The “S” (Cool S)


The “S”/Cool S



My informant describes the “S” or the “Cool S” as a drawing of an “S” in a graffiti-like style. She has first seen it during elementary school, where classmates would draw this “S” in their notebooks or the margins of their papers. She interprets it as something kids would also teach each other how to draw. It consists of two rows of three lines that are connected to make a pointy letter “S”.


I interpret the “S” as mostly children’s folklore. The “S” has very unclear origins outside of school because it is where people learn about it and how to draw it. I notice that this spread simply through children learning and teaching each other. This iconic drawing’s origin may have been lost most likely because it was children who spread it. The graffiti style of the “S” could also imply rebellion. In many schools in America, gang signs and anything that could resemble a gang symbol are typically banned. While the “S” does not particularly represent anything specific, children still gravitate drawing and spreading this symbol just for some inconsequential malicious compliance.