How do you spell it? Coo coo? Cuckoo? kuku? Coucou?
Indeed while many people spell it numerous different ways, (I’ve seen kuku, cuckoo, coo coo, and coucou) the correct English spelling is “cuckoo”. This is because the first sound is a higher pitch and relatively shorter in length than the second sound. The second sound is more drawn out and lower in pitch. Most cuckoo calls are roughly a major third musical interval.
Both sounds are made from the bellows inside of the back of the clock, but each sound has its own bellow.
The correct German spelling, however, is Kuckucksuhr. Perhaps this is why some people spell it as “kuku”. Alas, these clocks were not named after the kuku food (a traditional Persian egg dish).
And speaking of food, we now move over to France to see how they spell it. The correct French spelling of “cuckoo clock” is “coucou”.
Now you may be thinking “Wait! Doesn’t that mean Hello?” Indeed it does! It is no coincidence that they are named the same either. In fact, the term coucou was derived from the German cuckoo clocks! Most adults use it as a greeting through text messages, though as it is also easy to articulate, many people will shout “coucou” as a casual greeting. it is also similar to the American children’s gam“peek-a-boo”. It is easy to say and remember for children and therefore commonly used in their games. So if you want your child to learn a French game, just play “coucou!”
As for “coo coo” I’m afraid that would simply be a long drawn out call. I imagine it would sound like a rather depressed cuckoo call.
How do you spell it??
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