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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

cottonpickin'

[kot-n-pik-uh n] /ˈkɒt nˌpɪk ən/
adjective, Slang.
1.
damned; confounded:
That's a cottonpickin' lie.
Also, cottonpicking
[kot-n-pik-uh n, -pik-ing] /ˈkɒt nˌpɪk ən, -ˌpɪk ɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1950-1955
1950-55, Americanism; cotton + pick1 + -ing2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cotton-picking

cotton-picking

adjective
1.
(US & Canadian, slang) (intensifier qualifying something undesirable): you cotton-picking layabout!
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 cotton-picking
adj.

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]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cotton-picking

cotton-picking

adjective

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]


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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Difficulty index for cottonpickin'

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cotton

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with cotton-picking