Where Does the Expression “In Cahoots With One” Come From and What Does Cahoots Mean?

The expression “in cahoots with” means: In close cooperation with; in league with; in partnership with.

It is highly probable that the American term “cahoots” came from the French cahute, a small but or cabin, or the related Dutch kajuit of the same meaning.

The connecting link has not yet been found, the use, that is, of a French or Dutch expression which our great-grandparents adopted, but the kind of partnership or league-ship indicated by “in cahoots with” is obviously that which would be expected of the fellow inhabitants of a small cabin, of men closely engaged in a joint undertaking.

The expression dates at least from the early nineteenth century, if not back to the Revolution.

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