[koo-ter] /ˈku tər/

Chiefly Southern U.S. any of several large aquatic turtles of the southern U.S. and northern Mexico.

name for some types of freshwater terrapin in southern U.S., 1835 (first attested 1827 in phrase drunk as a cooter, but this probably is a colloquial form of unrelated coot), from obsolete verb coot “to copulate” (1660s), of unknown origin. The turtle is said to copulate for two weeks at a stretch.


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