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In a Coon’s Age (Meaning, Origin, Examples)

What does “Coon’s age” mean? And where did it originate? Is it still used in modern American English?

English is an exciting language to learn. English is the primary language used to communicate internationally. Learning English is very important to enhance your communication level. The English language has an abundance of vocabulary that consists of many words and idioms.

Learning new words and enhancing your knowledge will always be thrilling for a language enthusiast. In the English language, we use idioms to express our ideas or opinions. Idioms are a group of words used to establish a meaning or expression.

What does “Coon’s age” mean?

Coon’s age is an idiom used in the American English language. Generally, we use this idiom in a sentence to express the meaning, ‘a very long time’ or ‘indefinitely long period.’

The term ‘coon’s age’ is considered offensive by many people. Coon is the short form of a raccoon, an animal found in North America.

The term Coon (as a reference to the Raccoon Animal) became very popular in the mid-1700s. By the 1800s, the term ‘coon’s age’ came into practice.

It became popular because “folk belief” was that the life span of a raccoon is not very long-lived. The lore began in the American south. The term “coon’s age” can be taken back to the American heritage of the 1700s.

in a coon's age

Where did “Coon’s age” come from?

“Coon’s age” is coined after the raccoon’s name and life span. The raccoon is a wild animal found in North America.

This animal lives up to an average of 5-7 years. Some species will live up to 14-15 years.

Their life span is the same as that of a pet dog.

The word ‘coon’s age’ became popular in the 1800s. Maybe at that period, the fact about a raccoon’s life span was unknown.

The raccoon fur is long-lasting, which folklore might have taken as proof of its longevity.

What does in “a coon’s age” mean?

The idiom ‘coon’s age’ is usually used in a sentence with the preposition’ in.’ ‘In a coon’s age’ – that is the idiom.

The meaning of ‘in a coon’s age is, ‘very long time’ or ‘many years’. “The cow’s age” (or “till the cow’s come home”) is another old English phrase used to describe “a very long while.”

The term ‘Coon’s age’ was also created similar to this phrase.

Usage of ‘in a coon’s age’: “I have not seen you in a coon’s age”.

Meaning: ‘It has been a long time since I have seen you.’ – This is the meaning of the above sentence.

Examples of “Coon’s age” used in sentences.

Here are some examples of using coon’s age in a sentence.

  • Ram has not met her in a coon’s age.
  • We have been waiting for a coon’s age for you.
  • She waited for my friend for a coon’s age, but he could not come.
  • I have not gone for a party in a coon’s age.
  • I could not believe my eyes! I am meeting you after a coon’s age.
  • It was a surprise for the teacher as she hadn’t seen the children playing marbles in a coon’s age.
  • Sometimes unexpectedly, you may meet your old friend you have not seen in a coon’s age.

“Coon’s age” synonyms

Coon’s age synonyms include:

  • donkey’s years
  • once in a blue moon
  • cow’s age or “till the cow’s come home”
  • dog’s years
  • in a month of Sundays
  • in ages
  • long time
  • infinity
  • for a lifetime
  • eons
  • eternities
  • moons ago
  • forever and a day
  • all one’s born days

These are a few similar idioms and words with the meaning, ‘ For a long time.

“Coon’s age” antonyms

Antony’s for “coon’s age” include:

  • in a flash
  • in a blink of the eye
  • in a split second
  • moment
  • jiffy
  • wink
  • twinkle
  • second
  • instant
  • in a minute
  • trice
  • microsecond
  • nanosecond
  • half second
  • second bite of the apple
  • in the fraction of a second

These are the opposite words of ‘coon’s age. The meaning of all these words is ‘in a concise time.’


The idiom “coon’s age” refers to the longevity of life that a raccoon (in folklore) has. It is one of the older idioms of Americanism recorded. Most commonly, it’s used to say something hasn’t happened “in a while.”


  1. What’s the origin of “coon’s age”? – The Straight Dope
  2. 5 Synonyms & Antonyms for COON’S AGE – Thesaurus.com
  3. A Coon’s Age – A Way With Words
  4. “In a coon’s age” – phrase meaning and origin

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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