- Slang a black person: a term of contempt or derision
- Informal A raccoon.
- Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a black person.
Origin of coonShort for raccoon Sense 2, perhaps after Zip Coon an African-American character (depicted as an upstart freeman) in the song “Zip Coon” frequently sung in 19th-century blackface minstrel shows (the character perhaps being so named in reference to the black facial mask of the raccoon and to the practice of hunting and eating raccoons frequently mentioned in minstrel show songs) possibly influenced by 19th-century slang coon rural white American (often one of modest means and opposed to the slave-owning Southern establishment), fellow, so called in reference to the association of coonskin with American frontiersmen
(third-person singular simple present coons, present participle cooning, simple past and past participle cooned)
- (Southern US, colloquial) To hunt racoons.
- (Southern US, colloquial) To crawl while straddling, especially in crossing a creek.
- (Georgia, colloquial) To fish by noodling, by feeling for large fish in underwater holes.
- (African American Vernacular) For an African American, to play the dated stereotype of a black fool for an audience, particularly including Caucasians.
- (Southern US, colloquial, dated) To steal.