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See also: Gucken and gücken


Alternative forms[edit]

  • kucken (reflecting the common pronunciation, but less frequent in writing)


From Middle High German gücken, guggen (to look inquisitively, peek, peer), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from a specialised use of Middle High German gücken, gucken (to cuckoo, call or cry like a cuckoo), from Old High German guckōn, gukkōn (to cuckoo). The pronunciation (and spelling) with k- is commonly explained as an influence of German Low German kieken (from Middle Low German kîken). Note, however, that this pronunciation reaches far to the south (compare Luxembourgish kucken and Dutch kijken).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkʊkən/ (commonly, northern)
  • IPA(key): /ˈɡʊkən/ (southern)
  • (file)


gucken (weak, third-person singular present guckt, past tense guckte, past participle geguckt, auxiliary haben)

  1. (colloquial) to look, to direct one's gaze at something
    Synonyms: schauen, sehen, hinsehen, betrachten, ansehen
    • 1960, Marie Luise Kaschnitz, Der Strohhalm:
      Ich kann in die Stadt gehen und mich irgendwo hinsetzen und in die Luft gucken.
      I can go into town and sit myself down somewhere and stare into space.
  2. (colloquial) to watch, to direct one's gaze at something for some time
  3. (copulative, colloquial) to look, to have a certain facial expression
    Synonym: aussehen
    Warum guckst du so traurig?Why are you looking so sad?

Usage notes[edit]

  • Gucken, along with its spelling variant kucken, is the common word for "to look" in northern and central Germany. Southern German and Austrian varieties use schauen. Gucken is not normally used in formal language, where it is replaced with synonyms.


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • gucken” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • gucken” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • gucken” in Duden online
  • gucken” in