How does cotton play a part here? Not to nitpick about "cotton-picking," but I'm just wondering -- isn't that expression racial? Blacks were the ones who cotton-picked, after all. Anyway, I don't use it anymore.
critics of the word say it's racist because it harkens back to the time when black slaves picked cotton. According to Urban Dictionary, the term "cotton picker" is indeed a racist slur used "to represent a black person, or person of African heritage.". . . Given this, if you're fond of the term "cotton picking" and don't want to be accused of being a racist, refrain from uttering it when black people are the topic at hand.
Maybe it's okay when black people are not the topic at hand?
I hear older people talk about this or that "cocksucking" thing, or this or that jerk who's a real "cocksucker," and I don't use that expression either, for what I'd hope have become obvious reasons.
Edit to add link: http://racerelations.about.com/od/diversitymatters/a/Five-Terms-You-Might-Not-Know-Are-Considered-Racist.htm