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cloud cuckoo land

a state of over-optimistic fantasy


cloud cuckoo land = Wolkenkuckuksheim; Wunschvorstellung, trügerische Hoffnung, Irrealität, Luftschloss



But Mr Campbell said government was political and it was "CLOUD CUCKOO LAND" to imagine that any prime minister or secretary of state did not have a small number of like-minded people around him.

BBC News

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cloud cuckoo land

noun phrase

- a realm of fantasy, dreams, or impractical notions

Collins English Dictionary

- a place or condition that is fanciful, lacking in reality, impractically utopian, etc.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary



From the Greek word 'nephelococcygia' meaning 'cloud' and 'cuckoo', used by Aristophanes in his play The Birds, 414 BC, in which he likened Athens to a city built in the clouds by birds.

Cloud cuckoo land is a state of absurdly, over-optimistic fantasy or an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect. Someone living in cloud cuckoo land is a person who thinks that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are. It also hints that the person referred to is naive, unaware of realities.

Margaret Thatcher famously used this phrase in the 1980s: "The ANC is a typical terrorist organisation... Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land."

Newt Gingrich referred to Barack Obama's claim that algae could be used as a fuel source as cloud cuckoo land.

Paul Krugman used the phrase referring to inadequate German economic politics toward failing members of the European Union: "Basically, it seems that even as the euro approaches a critical juncture, senior German officials are living in Wolkenkuckucksheim—cloud-cuckoo land."



Shangri-la, utopia, never-never land, nonexistent place of perfection, realm of whimsical behavior, state of over-optimistic fantasy


Practice OWAD in a conversation today

Say something like:

"Some modern products make you think the designers are living in CLOUD CUCKOO LAND."

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