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Alternative formsEdit

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


From Middle High German gücken. Further origin uncertain. 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).


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


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

  1. (colloquial) to look, to direct one's gaze at something
    • 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. (colloquial) to look, to have a certain facial expression
    Warum guckst du so traurig?
    Why are you looking so sad?

Usage notesEdit

  • 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 respective synonyms.



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