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Posted by R. Berg on March 24, 2004

In Reply to: High Cotton posted by ESC on March 23, 2004

: : : What's the origin of the term "high cotton," or "he or she is in 'high cotton?'"

: : This came from the old US south where cotton was one of the few cash crops when this country was first settled. High cotton is a reference to the tallest healthiest plants, which produced the most cotton. To be "in high cotton" is to have a valuable, bumper crop.

: I've heard it this way: "tall cotton."

Lyrics from DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, "Summertime":

Summertime and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high . . .