Posted by ESC on March 06, 2004
In Reply to: Drunker than cooter brown posted by kgnelson on March 06, 2004
: Does anyone know what part of the country this came from and who was Cooter Brown?
The South. For more discussion of who Cooter might have been, search the archives under "Cooter."
"drunk as Cooter Brown; drunker than Cooter Brown -- Very drunk indeed. Who the proverbial Cooter Brown is no one seems to know, but this may have originally been a black expression from the Carolinas. 'In Texas we'd call him drunker than Cooter Brown.'" From "Whistlin' Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions" by Robert Hendrickson (Pocket Books, New York, 1993).
Another reference says, in part:
DRUNK AS COOTER BROWN - adj. phrase. Also "drunk as Cooter, ~ Cooty Brown. Chiefly South. Very intoxicated. "This is a Black expression very familiar to the informant, who is from New Jersey. She says it is current and, so far as she knows, it 'came up with the Blacks from the Carolinas.' She thinks it probably derives from some proverbial drunkard." From "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy (1985, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England). Page 769-770.