The Meaning of Coon: What It Is and How To Use It

The word coon can be highly offensive. This article will teach you the meaning of coon and how people use it. Be very careful with this slur.

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The word coon can be highly offensive and should be avoided at all costs. However, it is important to know why the word coon is offensive. Knowing the history of different slang terms can be important to better understand exactly why they are offensive.

This article will teach you several definitions of the word coon. Then, it will tell you why some of them are offensive. Finally, you will learn how people say the word racoon in other languages and related information to the word coon.   

What Does Coon Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word coon is a slang term for a raccoon, a small animal found in North America and Central America. Raccoons have a black mask around their eyes, striped, bushy tails, and dextrous hands. The pronunciation of coon is kuːn.

The word coon is also a highly offensive slang term for a Black person. White people use this ethnic slur as a derogatory term for a Black man. It is never okay to use this word to refer to someone, and it often appears on word lists of the most offensive words, similar to other slurs like the n-word or “Uncle Tom.” 

Even if you plan on using the word coon to refer to a racoon, it is best to avoid this contemptuous term. It is better to use synonyms of the word coon to avoid offending anyone.

What Is the Etymology of the Slur Coon?

Dictionary states that the origin of the slur coon dates back to the mid-1700s and originates as a shortening of the word raccoon. When the term was first created, it was used to refer to a sly or shifty person, similar a raccoon’s behavoir. 

When the Whig party began using the raccoon as their mascot, people began to call members of the party coons. Also, in the early 1800s, people began to use the word coon as an offensive slur for Black people, comparing them to raccoons in look or behavior.

This term gained popularity from the 1830 George Dixon Blackface minstrel song “Zip Coon,” which gave rise to “coon songs,” or racist parodies of black culture in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Often, people who performed these songs wore blackface.

What Is the Origin of the Cat Breed Maine Coon?

The Maine Coon cat originates from Wiscasset, Maine, as its name implies! The Maine Coon cats get their name from their resemblance to raccoons. While people sometimes believe that they are related to the North American raccoon, this is not the case. 

Maine Coon cats are very large, have a long bushy tail, and raccoon-like colorings and markings. However, the breed developed naturally in the northern United States. Maine Coonn cats are often referred to as gentle giants due to their large size, ringtail, and domestic nature.  

What Are Translations of Coon?

If you would like to talk about a raccoon in a different language, you can use the below translations of the raccoon from Nice Translator. The slur coon is only used in the American English language.

  • Arabic: الراكون
  • Czech: mýval
  • Russian: енот
  • Hebrew: דביבון
  • Japanese: ラクーン
  • Amharic: ራኮን
  • Swedish: tvättbjörn
  • Catalan: ós rentador
  • Vietnamese: Gấu mèo. – Gấu mèo
  • Basque: mapatxe
  • German: Waschbär
  • Croatian: rakun
  • Telugu: రాకూన్
  • Slovenian: rakun
  • Hungarian: mosómedve
  • Chinese (PRC): 狸
  • Malayalam: അമേരിക്കന് കരടി
  • Spanish: mapache
  • Welsh: raccoon
  • Filipino: raccoon
  • Ukrainian: раноподібний
  • Dutch: wasbeer
  • Korean: 너구리
  • French: raton laveur
  • Urdu: ایک قسم کا جانور
  • Italian: procione
  • Malay: Raccoon
  • Latvian: jenots
  • Kannada: ರಕೂನ್
  • Polish: szop pracz
  • Greek: ρακούν
  • Serbian: ракун
  • Danish: vaskebjørn
  • Thai: แรคคูน
  • Marathi: रॅकोन
  • Turkish: rakun
  • Portuguese (Brazil): guaxinim
  • Tamil: ரக்கூன்
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 狸
  • Estonian: pesukaru
  • Norwegian: vaskebjørn
  • Hindi: एक प्रकार का जानवर
  • Slovak: medvedík čistotný
  • Portuguese (Portugal): guaxinim
  • Finnish: pesukarhu
  • Gujarati: ઉત્તર અમેરિકાનું ગુચ્છાદાર પૂંછડીવાળું રીંછ

What Are Other Cat Breeds?

Tere are many different cat breeds besides the Maine Coon! Which of these cat breeds are you familiar with? Have you ever owned a Maine Coon cat?

  • American Wirehair
  • American Shorthair
  • Manx
  • Singapura
  • Munchkin
  • Exotic Short Hair
  • Domestic Long Hair
  • Angora
  • Somali Sorrel
  • Scottish Fold
  • Tabby
  • Devon Rex
  • British Shorthair
  • Siamese
  • Sphynx
  • Russian Blue
  • Selkirk Rex
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Oriental Lilac
  • Oriental
  • Australian Mist
  • Burmese
  • Bombay
  • Domestic Medium Hair
  • Chinchilla
  • Peke Faced Persian
  • Havana
  • Ragdoll
  • LaPerm Long Hair
  • Domestic Short Hair
  • Pixie Bob
  • Savannah
  • Cornish Rex
  • Birman
  • Himalayan
  • Ocicat
  • Chausie
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Tonkinese
  • Egyptian Mau
  • Russian Blue (TICA)
  • Bengal
  • Scottish Short Hair
  • LaPerm Short Hair
  • Burmilla
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Russian Blue (GCCF)
  • Russian White
  • Persian Colourpoint
  • Somali
  • Persian
  • Somali Ruddy
  • Balinese
  • Foreign White
  • Siamese Oriental
  • Korat
  • Chartreaux
  • American Bobtail
  • Abyssinian
  • Turkish Van


The definition of coon is, first, a slang term for a raccoon or a variety of cats; the Maine Coon. However, the most well-known definition of coon is an offensive slang term for a Black person. Therefore, you should avoid this term at all costs because even if you use it to refer to a raccoon, it may still offend the people around you. 


  1. Maine Coon Cat | Maine Secretary of State Kids’ Page
  2. Coon Definition & Meaning |  
  3. Raccoon | Nice Translator