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Idiom

Cloud Cuckoo Land: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
an imaginary and unrealistic place where everything is perfect and impossible things can happen.
Origin
Pull a fast one (on somebody)“Cloud-cuckoo-land” was coined by the 4th century BC Greek writer Aristophanes in his play, “The Birds” which was first translated into English in 1824, which is when this expression entered into the English language.

We usually use this phrase in the expression “living in cloud cuckoo land”. Someone who is said to “live 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 means that the person referred to is overly optimistic, immature, ignorant, naïve or unaware of reality.
Examples
– I wanted £40,000 and I only got £25,000. I was totally living in cloud-cuckoo-land in terms of my salary expectations.
– Anyone who thinks Article 50 will be invoked by the end of this year must surely be living in cloud-cuckoo land!
– “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.” Margaret Thatcher, 1987
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