Coon

abbreviation of racoon.—American. A gone coon ditto, one in an awful fix, past praying for. This expression is said to have originated in the first American war with a spy, who dressed himself in a racoon skin, and ensconced himself in a tree. An English rifleman taking him for a veritable coon, levelled his piece at him, upon which he exclaimed, “Don't shoot, I'll come down of myself, I know I'm a gone coon.” The Yankees say the Britisher was so “flummuxed,” that he flung down his rifle and “made tracks” for home. The phrase is pretty general in England. [There is one difficulty about this story—How big was the man who dressed himself in a racoon skin?]