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a coon's age
An exceptionally long period of time. Based on the folk belief that raccoons (shortened colloquially to "coons") had a longer-than-average lifespan. Primarily heard in US. It will take a coon's age to get all this work finished! I haven't been on a vacation in a coon's age. My goodness, I haven't seen you in a coon's age! How have you been?
One's close friend. Oh, I'm sure he invited Dave—that's his ace boom-boom. It's always great to spend time with my ace boom-boom! A: "How's Stu these days? Isn't he your ace boom-boom?" B: "He is, but I haven't talked to him in a few weeks because he's been traveling for work."
A reclaimed term in the black community for one's close friend. However, it is potentially offensive due to "coon" being a racial slur. Oh, I'm sure he invited Dave—that's his ace boon-coon. It's always great to spend time with my ace boon-coon!
1. Discoloration in the area surrounding the eye(s) due to an accumulation of blood, as caused by periorbital ecchymosis (i.e., "black eye(s)"). A colloquial shortening of "raccoon eyes," likened to the black patches around the eyes of a raccoon. He had a pretty bad coon eye after the bully punched him in the face. I had coon eyes for several days after my car accident.
2. A discoloration immediately around—and especially under—the eye(s) due to the smearing of dark-colored makeup. A colloquial shortening of "raccoon eyes," likened to the black patches around the eyes of a raccoon. She wouldn't have such a problem with coon eyes if she didn't wear so much makeup to begin with! Whenever I cry, it causes my makeup to run and give me coon eyes.
3. A discoloration immediately around—and especially under—the eye(s) due to prolonged fatigue or lack of sleep. A colloquial shortening of "raccoon eyes," likened to the black patches around the eyes of a raccoon. I must not sleep very soundly because I always have these coon eyes when I wake up.
See also: coon
for a coon's age
For an exceptionally long period of time. Based on the folk belief that raccoons (shortened colloquially to "coons") have a longer-than-average lifespan. I could work on this project for a coon's age, and I still wouldn't get it all done! I haven't been on a vacation for a coon's age.
obsolete slang Any person or thing that is in a position of certain death, failure, or ruin. From the image of a raccoon (commonly shortened to "coon") being hunted for its fur. Primarily heard in US. He said his business would be a gone coon if the bank doesn't approve his loan.
in a coon's age
In an exceptionally long period of time. Based on the folk belief that raccoons (shortened colloquially to "coons") have a longer-than-average lifespan. Primarily heard in US. I haven't seen you in a coon's age! How have you been? I haven't been on a vacation in a coon's age.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
in a coon's ageand in a month of Sundays
Rur. in a very long time. (The coon is a raccoon.) How are you? I haven't seen you in a coon's age. I haven't had a piece of apple pie this good in a coon's age.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
gone coon, a
Also, a gone goose. A person in a hopeless situation, one who is doomed; a dead duck. For example, When he passed me, I knew I was a gone goose. These terms have survived such synonyms as gone chick, gone beaver, gone horse, and gone gander. Stephen Crane used the first in The Red Badge of Courage (1894): "I'm a gone coon this first time." [Slang; early 1800s]
See also: gone
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
for (or in) a coon's agea very long time. North American informal
1951 William Styron Lie Down in Darkness I haven't seen him in a coon's age.
a gone coona person or thing in desperate straits or as good as dead. US informal
Coon in these idioms is an informal abbreviation of raccoon . Raccoons were hunted for their fur, and a gone coon was one that had been cornered so that it could not escape.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
ace boom-boomand ace boon-coon
n. one’s good and loyal friend. (Black. Ace boon-coon is not as common as the first entry and is objected to because of coon.) Hey girlfriend, you are my ace boom-boom. Where is my old ace boon-coon, bro?
See ace boom-boom
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
coon's age, a
A long time. An American expression from the first half of the nineteenth century, it is based on the mistaken idea that raccoons (or “coons”) are long-lived. They are not, but their fur, widely used from colonial times, is sturdy and long-lasting. An early example appears in black dialect in Southern Sketches (1860): “This child haint had much money in a coon’s age.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer