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From Middle English cokkou, probably from Old French cucu (whence French coucou); ultimately onomatopoeic, perhaps via Latin cucūlus (“cuckoo”). Displaced native Old English ġēac (> modern English yeke, yek (“cuckoo”)).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkʊk.uː/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈkuː.kuː/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ʊkuː, -uːkuː
- Hyphenation: cuc‧koo
- Any of various birds, of the family Cuculidae, famous for laying its eggs in the nests of other species; but especially the common cuckoo, Cuculus canorus, that has a characteristic two-note call.
- c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i]:
- He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo, / By the bad voice.
- The sound of that particular bird.
- The bird-shaped figure found in cuckoo clocks.
- The cuckoo clock itself.
- A person who inveigles themselves into a place where they should not be (used especially in the phrase a cuckoo in the nest).
- (slang) Someone who is crazy.
- Alternative form of
- cuckoo clock
- cuckoo-pint (“Arum italicum”)
- cuckoo shrike
- cuckoo's egg
- cuculine (rare)
- cuckoo sign
- To make the call of a cuckoo.
- To repeat something incessantly. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
- Synonym: parrot
to make the call of a cuckoo
to repeat something incessantly