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[koon] /kun/
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.
a rustic or undignified person.
Origin of coon
1735-45, Americanism; aphetic form Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for coon
Historical Examples
  • Penny knew that Danny, a hardened criminal, would never give her any information, so she centered her attention upon Hod and coon.

    Swamp Island Mildred A. Wirt
  • "You don't need to stay here and listen to it," Fatty coon said.

    The Tale of Grumpy Weasel Arthur Scott Bailey
  • coon disna get up as far as this, and Arctic and blue fox dinna get as far south.

  • "I guess you had better skip, Mr. coon," said the white boy.

    The Hindered Hand Sutton E. Griggs
  • So they sent Mr. coon back with another note stating, that that would be their last chance, etc.

    A Texas Cow Boy Chas. A. Siringo
  • Now the young scouts have to find that coon, each looking about for himself.

    Woodland Tales Ernest Seton-Thompson
  • By the time he got thru telling the girls, Mr. coon called to Mr. Rabbit that he was ready to go.

  • It is a question which was the more surprised, Mr. coon or Mr. Crow.

    Mother West Wind "How" Stories Thornton W. Burgess
  • coon would carry him away, so would fox or wildcat, and a marten would not come into the building by night.

    Rolf In The Woods Ernest Thompson Seton
  • coon like, they crawled out on the limb and lowered themselves to the trapeze.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
British Dictionary definitions for coon


(informal) short for raccoon
(offensive, slang) a Black person or a native Australian
(South African, offensive) a person of mixed race
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coon

short for raccoon, 1742, American English. It was the nickname of Whig Party members in U.S. c.1848-60, as the raccoon was the party's symbol, and it also had associations with frontiersmen (who stereotypically wore raccoon-skin caps), which probably ultimately was the source of the Whig Party sense (the party's 1840 campaign was built on a false image of wealthy William Henry Harrison as a rustic frontiersman).

The insulting U.S. meaning "black person" was in use by 1837, said to be ultimately from Portuguese barracoos "building constructed to hold slaves for sale." No doubt boosted by the enormously popular blackface minstrel act "Zip Coon" (George Washington Dixon) which debuted in New York City in 1834. But it is perhaps older (one of the lead characters in the 1767 colonial comic opera "The Disappointment" is a black man named Raccoon). Coon's age is 1843, American English, probably an alteration of British a crow's age.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for coon



  1. A black person (1862+)
  2. (also coon's ass) A carnival worker who is too aggressive and mistreats the customers (1990+ Carnival)

Related Terms

ace boon coon

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for coon


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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