coon's age

Idioms & Phrases

coon's age

Also, a dog's age. A very long time, as in I haven't seen Sam in a coon's age, or It's been a dog's age since I went to the ballpark. The first phrase rests on the mistaken idea that raccoons ("coons") live a long time. The variant may reflect a similar assumption but the true origin is not known. [c. 1835] Also see donkey's years.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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