Last modified on 18 June 2013, at 23:32

cotton-picking

EnglishEdit

NounEdit

cotton-picking (uncountable)

  1. The harvesting of cotton
    • 1859 Opportunities for Industry and the Safe Investment of Capital
      The season of cotton-picking commences in the latter part of July, and continues without intermission to the Christmas holidays.

AdjectiveEdit

cotton-picking

  1. (US, idiomatic, colloquial) An intensifier, like "darn", used for emphasis or to signify that something is of little value.
    • 1959, U.S. Army Aviation Center, U.S. Army Aviation School, United States Army aviation digest, page 31:
      "Now hold up here just a cotton-picking minute,"
    • 1967, Howard Fast. The Hunter and the Trap, page 14:
      "Oh, wait one damn cotton-picking minute," Andy said.
  2. (US, idiomatic, pejorative, colloquial) Describes a person who tends to become involved in matters outside of his area of concern.
    • 1975, Richard M Nixon - Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President:
      I think the President's Adviser on Domestic Affairs should keep his cotton-picking hands off the economic policy for a change.

QuotationsEdit

  • 1965, “American law reports annotated. second series”, volume 76, page 1276: 
    "...are not entitled to anything, Mrs. Wright, (referring to one of the appellees), because your son (referring to the deceased, F.A. Wright, Jr.), was a cotton picking Negro."

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used with hands, as in "keep your cotton-picking hands off" (something or someone).
  • Originally referred to slaves and other low status workers in the southern United States who picked cotton in fields by hand.