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Coochee, Coochie or coochi[1] is a term often used as a slang descriptor often used in relation to a belly dance and related types of movement. In other contexts, the term also applies to a Native American chief as well as to Florida place names, and has been used in popular songs.

In dance and related uses[edit]

Is a slang descriptor often used in relation to a belly dance or wiggling as in "Coochie Coochie dance", "Hoochee-Coochee" and the saying "coochee coochee coo" when infants are tickled or hungry. It is also used as sexually suggestive slang from the Southern United States, referring to the vagina.[2][3] It may trace back to a song at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair[3] performed by a dancer named (Little Egypt), who appeared at the 1893 World's Fair and was filmed in 1896 by Thomas Edison for the Coochee Coochee Dance film short.[4][5][6] The song was created by Sol Bloom.[7]

One explanation of the etymology attributes it to the French word coucher, meaning to lie down.[8]

After the sexually provocative dance became wildly popular during and after World's Fair, the term "hoochie coochie man" came to refer to someone who either watched the performer(s) or ran the show. Alternatively, from the directly sexual meaning of hoochie coochie, he greatly enjoyed sexual intercourse. The erotic dancing was popular in film booths and was a precursor of the striptease.[9]

In Native American terms[edit]

The term is also used in another context. Coacoochee was a Native American chief and the term coochee is used in various Florida place names including the Withlacoochee River and Croom-A-Coochee. The river named Withlacoochee may be from a Muskhogean dialect compounded of we (water), thlako (big), and chee (little), or little big water, signifying little river in the Creek language. We-lako or wethlako may also refer to a lake, it may signify a river of lakes, or lake river. The Withlacoochee flows just to the eastward of Tsala Apopka Lake, and the St. Johns River which flows through a series of large and small lakes was called welaka by the Seminoles.[10] Coochie was also a station on the Texas and Pacific Railroad in Louisiana, taken form the name of the Seminole settlement in Florida.[11]

In music[edit]

Various folk and popular songs including an Alabama folk song[12] and the songs "Coochi Coochi Coo" by Ella Fitzgerald,[13] the song "Coochie Coo", and 2 Live Crew's "Pop That Coochie" have also been recorded.

In literature[edit]

In the 1996 play The Vagina Monologues, coochi as in my coochi snorcher, is one of the slang terms for vagina.[1][14][15] The form coochi is derived from the more common form coochie of the early 1990s.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Victor, Terry and Dalzell, Tom (2007) The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English p.160
  2. ^ coochie at
  3. ^ a b coochie at LLC's
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Simpson, J. Clarence (1956). Mark F. Boyd, ed. Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey. 
  11. ^ [5]
  12. ^ [6]
  13. ^
  14. ^ Eve Ensler (1996) The Vagina Monologues: The V-Day Edition, pp.11, 76-82, 153-4, 180
  15. ^ Ultramontane Associates (1999) Culture Wars, Volume 19, p.94