A word that I shall delete from my vocabulary. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before. It seems so obvious.
From Urban Dictionary: cotton-picker
A racist slur to represent a black person, or person of African heritage……this word is used because in the Age of Our Founding Fathers, when blacks were slaves, they were known to mostly pick cotton.
From WordOrigins.Org: Cotton-Picking
Believe it or not the adjective cotton-picking comes from Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes cartoons. He may not have been the first to use it, but he gets credit for first recorded use.
But the noun cotton-picker is older. It dates to around 1919 and refers to a contemptable person. Those who worked in the fields, usually blacks, were beneath notice. The racial overtones have mellowed over the years, but it is still a derogatory term.