Cloud cuckoo land

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For the album by the Lightning Seeds, see Cloudcuckooland (album). For the academic journal, see Cloud Cuckoo Land (journal).

The expression "Cloud Cuckoo Land" refers to an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect. ("You're living in cloud cuckoo land.") It hints that the person referred to is naïve, unaware of reality or deranged in holding such an optimistic belief.

Literary sources[edit]

The reference comes from The Birds,[1] a play by Aristophanes, in which Tereus helps Pisthetairos (which can be translated as "Mr. Trusting") and Euelpides ("Mr. Hopeful") erect a perfect city in the clouds, to be named Cloud Cuckoo Land (Νεφελοκοκκυγία, Nephelokokkygia).

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer used the word (German Wolkenkuckucksheim) in his publication On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason in 1813,[2] as well as later in his main work The World as Will and Representation[3] and in other places. Here, he gave it its figurative sense by reproaching other philosophers for only talking about Cloud-cuckoo-land. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche refers to the term in his essay "On Truth and Lying in a Nonmoral Sense."

Author Edward Crankshaw used the term when discussing the Deak-Andrassy Plan of 1867 in his 1963 book The Fall of the House of Habsburg (Chapter 13, "The Iron Ring of Fate").

Other uses[edit]


  1. ^ "listing of Cloud Cuckoo Land". Retrieved 2012-03-15. 
  2. ^ On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason § 34, p. 133.
  3. ^ The World as Will and Representation Vol. I, Part 4, § 53, p. 352.

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