Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I overheard two scoundrels discussing one of their dates as being "coyote ugly".

share|improve this question
Scoundrels? Really? Are you sure you're not just finding questions to which you already know the answer and posting them here? –  Robusto Mar 8 '11 at 1:29
The only good Robusto is also a Maduro - and generally, just as thin of skin.... –  user5531 Mar 8 '11 at 2:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This comes from the term "coyote date," in which an inebriated person awakens the following morning with a person of the opposite sex in bed. The protagonist's arm is pinned beneath the ugly person's body.

Allegedly, a coyote, when caught in a steel-jawed trap, will gnaw off its own leg to escape.

You can do the math from here.

share|improve this answer

Other than the popularization of the term from the movie of the same name, I believe it derives from the behavior of coyotes, which (among other canines), when caught in a trap will gnaw off a leg in order to escape death. It describes a person (usually a woman) who is so undesirable that her partner (usually a guy) is willing to gnaw off the limb she is sleeping on in order to escape rather than waking her. The guy will usually find himself in this situation when, after a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up the next morning in the bed of a woman he does not remember meeting and has no desire of getting to know better.

share|improve this answer

Along with the correct explanations of 'Coyote Ugly', as already provided by The Raven and morganpdx, the whole picture is not complete without giving the three rating levels of the unfortunate date: 'One-bagger', 'Two-bagger', and 'Coyote Ugly'.

One-bagger describes someone so uncomely that they are made to wear a bag over their head so that you don't have to look at their face while copulating.

Two-bagger describes a person who is so much more distasteful that not only do you require them to wear a bag over their head, but you don one yourself in case the bag over their head falls off.

Coyote Ugly, the worst of the three levels, has already been explained.

share|improve this answer
Double coyote ugly -is where you bite your other arm off because she is out there looking for a one armed man! –  mgb Jul 25 '11 at 5:02

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.