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[koot] /kut/
any aquatic bird of the genus Fulica, as F. americana, of North America, and F. atra, of the Old World, characterized by lobate toes and short wings and tail.
any of various other swimming or diving birds, especially the scoters.
Informal. a foolish or crotchety person, especially one who is old.
Origin of coot
1250-1300; Middle English cote; cognate with Dutch koet Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coot
  • As perpetually optimistic grumpy old coot, this tops it.
  • And the underlying cravings of the old coot are thereby distorted and confused.
  • The waitress, tough coot that she is, got here by snowmobile.
  • He is much too good for the quirky-old-coot roles that are his lot nowadays.
  • One coot had multifocal pinpoint white foci on the mesentery and on thoracic and abdominal air sacs.
  • Waterfowl, snipe, and coot hunting occurs on five of the seven units of the refuge.
British Dictionary definitions for coot


any aquatic bird of the genus Fulica, esp F. atra of Europe and Asia, having lobed toes, dark plumage, and a white bill with a frontal shield: family Rallidae (rails, crakes, etc)
a foolish person, esp an old man (often in the phrase old coot)
Word Origin
C14: probably from Low German; compare Dutch koet
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 coot

c.1300, cote, used for various water fowl (now limited to Fulica atra and, in North America, F. americana), of uncertain origin. Cf. Dutch meercoet "lake coot." Meaning "silly person, fool" is attested from 1766.

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



A stupid or silly person, usually an aged one: a harmless old coot (1760s+)

Related Terms

crazy as a loon

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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