coon it

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

As would a coon (a racooon)

Verb[edit]

coon it (third-person singular simple present coons it, present participle cooning it, simple past and past participle cooned it)

  1. To crawl by straddling a log, especially in crossing a creek, or similar, such as a construction beam.
    • 1884, Joseph Dunbar Shields, The Life and Times of Sergeant Smith Prentiss, J. B. Lippincott & Co., Ayer Publishing (1971), ISBN 0836966678, page 27
      there was no bridge, and to supply the want a large tree was cut down and fell across the stream, from bank to bank, and thus made a safe log bridge. The crossing of such a bridge, in Western parlance, is styled cooning, therefore, in times of freshets, Prentiss and his scholars had to coon it over Second Creek.
    • 1920, author kept strictly confidential by Google Books, The Beaver, Hudson’s Bay Company, page 45
      But the other day one of the logging company’s engineers was spotted cooning it along a big hemlock log which had been felled across the river years ago. The Teal was leaping at his ankles and shouting its spring song, while the lad inched along and looked everywhere but down.
    • 1984, Herbert Applebaum, Work in Market and Industrial Societies, SUNY Press, ISBN 0873958101, page 109
      Cooning it or cradling it (it being the steel beam) involves walking on all fours across the steel, or holding onto the steel while traversing it. Seagulling refers to walking the steal with arms outstretched, as in flight, to provide balance. These phrases are only used criticizing the actions of others.
    • 1998, Mary Michels (interviewee), Susan Eisenberg (author), We'll Call You If We Need You, Experiences of Women Working Construction, Cornell University Press, ISBN 080148605X, page 192
      I was crawling across the beam—because I wasn’t able to walk on it. It was really thin. To this day, I would crawl on it—they call it “cooning it.”