You must not, however, run away with the notion that cotton-picking is a hurried process.
All they are fit for is education for cotton-picking and dish-washing.
I have a girl who to-day has done as good a day's work at grubbing as any man, but I could not make her a hand at cotton-picking.
cotton-picking is at once the most difficult and most expensive operation in cotton production.
They telled me she was a good cook; and they can use her for that, or set her at the cotton-picking.
Not able to increase his force, it was his custom to hire during the hurry of cotton-picking.
Indeed, she did little field-service except in times of special pressure and during the quarter Page 446of cotton-picking.
When they have learned their manual alphabet tolerably well, they are placed in the field to take a spell at cotton-picking.
It was just at the beginning of the cotton-picking season, when labour of every sort was much needed, Negro labour especially.
If they want better pay for their labor, why didn't they strike in the midst of the cotton-picking?
as a deprecatory term first recorded in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, but a similar noun meaning "contemptible person" dates to around 1919, perhaps with racist overtones that have faded over the years. Before mechanization, cotton picking was the most difficult labor on a cotton plantation.
I drove out to a number of the farms near Denison and found many very young white children working all day in the hot sun picking and dragging sacks of cotton. In one field the labor corps consisted of one woman and six children, one of them 5 years, one 6 years, one 7 years, one 9 years, and two about 11. The father was plowing. The 5 and 6 year olds worked all day as did the rest. The 7-year-old said he picked 50 pounds a day and the 9 year old 75 pounds. (A good picker averages several hundred a day.) School begins late on account of the cotton picking, but the children nearly all prefer school to the picking. Picking hours are long, hot, and deadly monotonous. While the very young children seem to enjoy it, very soon their distaste for it grows into all-absorbing hatred for all work. ["Field Notes of Lewis W. Hine, Child-Labor Conditions in Texas," report to U.S. Congressional Commission on Industrial Relations, 1916]
Despicable; wretched; damned: They're out of their cotton-picking minds/ I don't think it's anybody's cottonpickin' business what you're doing
[1950s+; fr the inferior status of the field hand or poor farmer in southern US society]