looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

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looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:56 pm

The following quote refers to the flooding that hit my area of Colorado in mid-September:
<2013 “Despite efforts to protect the perimeter, people are nonetheless finding their way into the disaster zone. Unauthorized people are receiving tickets, and about 30 have been written so far, with roughly 15 of those coming last weekend. But these are mostly ‘looky-loos’ with apparently nonmalevolent intentions, sheriff spokesman John Schulz said.”—The Coloradoan (Fort Collins), 9 October>
Looky-loo is a new one on me!


LOOKY-LOO (also LOOKY-LOU, LOOKIE-LOO, LOOKIE-LOU) noun informal [partially reduplicated]
colloquial. (originally and chiefly U.S.).

1) [1977]: A person who views something for sale with no genuine intention of making a purchase; a window-shopper.

2) [1980]: A person who comes or stops to look at something out of curiosity; = rubbernecker [[gawker]] noun.


LOOKY-LOO (also LOOKIE-LOO) noun informal

1) A person who, out of curiosity, lingers around the scene of an accident, etc., or strives to get a look into the private property of others, especially celebrities: <The trespassing looky-loos caused her to build a fence around the front yard.>

2) A person who seems interested in making a purchase, but whose actual intention is only to browse: <A treat for all the North Shore’s looky-loos: the popular Spring Designer Kitchen Tour.>


LOOKIE-LOU (also LOOKY-LOO) noun [1980s and still in use] (U.S. Black/campus): An inquisitive person, a peeping Tom.

So, the OED provides us with the word's thrilling origin: ‘A partial reduplication’ where ‘reduplicate’ is defined as “to repeat (of a word or other linguistic element).” A common form of a reduplication is, for example, ‘okie dokie’ and ‘namby-pamby’ where the first syllable is altered and the rest of the word is repeated (redoubled). In lookie-loo the element that is repeated is the spelling ‘loo’ and I guess the OED calls this type of repetition a ‘partial reduplication.’

The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary and archived sources:
<1977 (advertisement “Golf Looky-Loos. Come by and see our . . . Aerospace fiberglass . . . steel shaft woods at $35. ea.”—Los Angles Times (California0, 16 September, iii. page 4>

<1980 “The (U.S.) Forest Service reports a large number of sightseers, lookie-loos, on the west side of the mountain.”—Associated Press Newswire (Nexis), 23 July>

<1992 “A concierge had to constantly tell the camera-toting, autograph-seeking ‘looky-loos’ camped outside to take a powder.”—Newsweek, 13 January, page 38/1>

<2003 “You'll face constant interruptions from looky-loos who have no intention of buying your products.”—Start your Own Speciality Travel & Tour Business by R. Adams & T. Adams, v. page 69>

<2006 “Additionally, if they had seen the occasional ‘Negro,’ the sightings were so rare that it was still worth a long, lingering lookie-lou, which held no embarrassment for them at all.”— Odd Woman Out: Black Girl Abroad by R. Renee Amaro, page 66>

<2009 “Carrying coffee and cookies, cupcakes and breakfast casseroles, unofficial groundhog sighting squads started to show up before sunrise today at various looky-lou locations.”—McClatchy - Tribune Business News (Washington, D.C.), 2 February>

<2013 “Stars and other high-net-worth people have special real estate needs regular people don't, needs probably already addressed in a home owned by a celebrity: high walls to act as looky-loo buffers, remote-control access and badass alarm systems are inviolable requirements.”—Hollywood Reporter, Vol. 149, 5 April, page 36>

Ken G –October 11, 2013 (looking for the loo)

Re: looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by trolley » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:51 pm

The first time I heard this expression was about twenty years ago, from my realtor. He had held an "open house" for our home that was on the market. When I asked him how it went he said the attendance was pretty good but they were all just "looky-loos"
"What do you mean?"
"Nobody was really interested in buying. I think it was all folks from your neighbourhood who were just curious about what the inside of your house looked like."

Re: looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:55 am

Namby Pamby and Looky Loo - now what does that remind me of?

Re: looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:16 am


Re: looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:12 pm

I don't think that looky-loo has made it to this side of the Pond. I would be very grateful if everyone who lives on the left-hand side of it keeps the expression there!

I still wince when I hear television commercials telling me that something has happened "two times" instead of "twice".
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: looky-loo / looky-lou / lookie-loo/ lookie-lou

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:18 pm

.. so Bob did it happen three times or was it a threepeat ??

WozZ who accepts twice as being a repeat
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

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