Green’s Dictionary of Slang

coon adj.

also cooney, coonful, coony
[coon n.]

1. Native-American.

[US]R.M. Bird Nick of the Woods I 92: Red-skins! you half-niggers! you ’coon whelps! you snakes!
[US]L.H. Medina Nick of the Woods III i: Here you tarnal, temporal, long-legged, tater-headed, pumpkin-eating red niggers! you coon whelps!

2. (US) sly, cunning; thus coonfully adv., cunningly.

[US]Calif. Sun Dispatch 18 Jan. 1/5: I know it’s a humbug afore I commence: cause that ere Barnum lays the hose of the whole concern [...] May be he aint coon! [DA].
[US]A.H. Lewis ‘Politics’ Sandburrs 93: I’m rattled, wit’ all d’ glasses an’ dishes an’ d’ lights overhead. But I’m cooney all d’ same.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 148: Offering his arm to the lovely and coonful Mignon. [Ibid.] 204: Sometimes [...] that Cleopatra’s got a real coony look, Duke. [Ibid.] 336: Vivienne coonfully swiped the pudding which he had scorned.
[US]Ade Hand-made Fables 56: Joe was slow but Cooney.
[US]Time 27 Jan. 20/2: Ezell ran a coony eye over the new Georgia constitution [DA].
[US]K.C. Lamott Stockade 63: He’s a coony old bastard.

3. pertaining to a black individual or black culture.

[US]R.W. Emerson Society and Solitude 219: I knew a scholar [...] who said that he liked, in a bar-room, to tell a few coon stories.
[US]Chicago Street Gazette 20 Oct. 1/4: [headline] Prospect of a Prize Fight Between Two Noted Coon Sluggers.
[US]Irving Jones ‘I Want a Filipino Man’ [lyrics] This black man doesn’t talk the real coon rag-time.
[UK]D. Cotsford Society Snapshots 223: Why not write me a ‘coon’ song?
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear’ in Rolling Stones (1913) 36: He could do twenty-seven coon songs and banjo specialties.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 29 Apr. 4/7: He kept writing her cakewalks and coon songs / To capture her ficklesome heart.
[US]F.P. Dunne Mr Dooley Says 52: If th’ naygurs down South [...] flew at their masters, ye’d hear no more coon songs.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 277: You’d be about as prominent at the Maxixe in that outfit [...] as a one-legged albino at a coon cakewalk.
‘Sapper’ ‘The Motor Gun’ in Men, Women & Guns [ebook] [I]n the corner of that delectable resort, farthest away from the coon band, sat Dickie O'Rourke.
[US] Columbia Records catalog in Tosches (2001) n.p.: By ‘coon songs’ are meant up-to-date comic songs in negro dialect. The humor of many of these songs cannot be called refined and for that reason we have distinguished them from old-fashioned darky humor.
[US]W. Smith Bessie Cotter 15: He’s layin’ up in some coon joint.
[US] in G. Legman Limerick (1953) 71: She told a coon chauffeur / That he was her gopher— / And, say, did he go for her hole!
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 31: Blossom Seeley, another ‘red hot mamma’ was coon-shouting ‘Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey’.
[US]T. Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s 76: What could be prettier than a quite coony baby with bright green beautiful eyes.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 145: Untie me, you Coon Bastard.
[SA]S. Roberts ‘A Small Change’ Outside Life’s Feast 66: Glad I sold those safari suits to the coon boy.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 301: Did you know that coon queen’s taking it from Dr. Starkowitz.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 153: Kevin whatshisname, the coon cunt, was a real humdinger, though as a rule he hated blacks.
[Aus]P. Temple Dead Point (2008) [ebook] [of a Native Aus.] Bruce’s not a coon name [...] You look like you got a bit of coon in you.
[US]N. Tosches Where Dead Voices Gather (ms.) 221: Country music became the last bastion of the coon song.