EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CONEY
The Coney decided to join a class, and was offered beads to thread.
One day in deep depression of spirits the Coney arrived at the kindergarten.
The moorfowl does not cry there, the coney has no habitation.
In a way of speaking, this mendicant of Coney Island was perhaps of this class.
Shootin' the chutes—say, that Coney stunt seems tame compared to this!
I asked Kelly the very first day if he ever went to Coney Island.
Remember the dance at Coney Island and how mean you were to me?
Twice she had been to Coney Island and had ridden the hobby-horses.
I hit nine ducks and a rabbit out of ten in the gallery at Coney Sunday.
I do not shudder when in chowder stewed,Nor when the Coney Islander engulfs me raw.
c.1200, from Anglo-French conis, plural of conil "long-eared rabbit" (Lepus cunicula) from Latin cuniculus (source of Spanish conejo, Portuguese coelho, Italian coneglio), the small, Spanish variant of the Italian hare (Latin lepus), the word perhaps from Iberian Celtic (classical writers say it is Spanish).
Rabbit arose 14c. to mean the young of the species, but gradually pushed out the older word 19c., after British slang picked up coney as a punning synonym for cunny "cunt" (cf. connyfogle "to deceive in order to win a woman's sexual favors"). The word was in the King James Bible [Prov. xxx:26, etc.], however, so it couldn't be entirely dropped, and the solution was to change the pronunciation of the original short vowel (rhyming with honey, money) to rhyme with boney. In the Old Testament, the word translates Hebrew shaphan "rock-badger." Rabbits not being native to northern Europe, there was no Germanic or Celtic word for them.