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Cohee—also spelled coohee, kohee, quohee[1]—was a name that Irish, Scotch-Irish and German immigrants to the colonial-era Southern United States gave themselves.[2] They settled in the Shenandoah Valley and differentiated themselves from the Anglican planters of eastern Virginia who were called Tuckahoes.[2] The Cohees were the first Europeans to settle in what are now Amherst County and Nelson County, Virginia.[2]

The word comes from the Scots and Ulster Scots phrase "quo he", which corresponds to "quoth he" in standard English.[1] It has come to mean "a backwoods settler of Scots or northern Irish origin".[1] It primarily refers to inhabitants who lived west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in what is now West Virginia.[1] The term also applied to German, Scottish, or Irish people in Pennsylvania.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cohee". Dictionary of American Regional English. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  2. ^ a b c Seaman, Catherine H. C. (1992). Tuckahoes and Cohees: the settlers and cultures of Amherst and Nelson Counties, 1607-1807. Sweet Briar College.