lookee

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lookee

Post by SeeMcSee » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:49 pm

I grew up in Michigan using the word, "lookee." "Lookee there, a bird!" I have no idea as to its origin; both my parents used the phrase and my mother (my father is deceased), can't remember having learned it. My parents are from northern Wisconsin...my father's family from Illinois/Iowa/Pennsylvania, my mother's from Quebec/Minnesota/Ohio. Anyone have any ideas?
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Re: lookee

Post by zmjezhd » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:21 pm

I always assumed it had its origin in the form look ye, but have no proof.
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Re: lookee

Post by SeeMcSee » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:33 pm

That makes sense, thanks.
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Re: lookee

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:34 am

Dear SMS, Now you’ve gone and done it and divulged personal information which could put your cover in a world of jeopardy. Now you’re going to have to start watching your back! (<;)

Here’s some corroboration for Jim’s (a.k.a. zmjezhd’s) look ye (look you also works) assumption. And it looks like the expression has been (quotes date from 1710), and still is, in widespread use in the U.S. as well as England (U.K.). Today, however, it appears that, at least in news print (and in conversation too, for some), it is used more as an intentional folksyism than a genuine, straight-faced colloquialism.

LOOKEE / LOOKIE / LOOK(E)Y (imperative verb): followed by here, there, etc. look a, and by hypercorrection, look at. [Reduced forms of look you, look ye] (Dictionary of American Regional English)
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LOOK: Idiomatic uses of the imperative. a) Used to bespeak attention: = ‘see’, ‘behold’, ‘lo’. In modern colloquial use often look you (in representations of vulgar speech written look'ee) = ‘mind this’; also look here, a brusque mode of address prefacing an order, expostulation, reprimand, etc. looky here U.S. regional variant of ‘look here’; also look-a-here. (Oxford English Dictionary)
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LOOKY THERE: Look over there.”—Facts on File Dictionary of American Regionalism, listed under 'Happy Trails' [Westsern regionalisms], page 518> [[see 1985 quote below]]
<1710 “Look'ee, Jack, I have heard thee sometimes talk like an Oracle.”—The Tatler by R. Steele, No. 34, page 4>

<1744 “Why lookee Gentlemen . . . suppose a great stone lies in the street and you want to move it, unless there be some moving cause, how the devil shall it move”—American Speech, 1967, Vol. 42, page 217>

<1871 “Looky here, marm.”—Hoosier Schoolmaster. [southern Indiana] by Eggleston, page 63>

<1871 “Lookee here, squire, I didn’t take it, did I?” [central Georgia]—Dukesborough Tales (1892) by Johnston, page 74>

<1894 “Looky there!” [Indiana]—Amazindy by Riley, page 143>

<1925 “Looky here! Ye'd oughtn't t' said that, Eben.”—Desire under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill, I. ii. page 20>

1943 “Looky here. . . Burn it all, all I was tryin' to do was see what she'd do flat out on an open road.”—She Died a Lady by C. Diskson, v. page 38>

<1960 “Lookee here what I got.” [Ozarks]—Response to Publication of the American Dialect Society, No. 20>

<1982 “Lookie—diminutive of command lookLookie here.’” [central southern Pennsylvania] —Barrick Collection>

<1985 “‘Looky there,’ Pea said, ‘I reckon that’s the new cook.’”—Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, page 370>

<1993 “Hey, nurse, come on over here and looky-here at this old woman, she’s in such good shape.”—Having Our Say by Delany & Delany, page 17>

<2003 “. . . you aren't really supposed to notice when someone gets a facelift. Museums are no exception. ‘Well, looky here. Check out that new roof, fresh paint and better lighting. . . ’”—Washington Post, 17 January>

<2007 “. . . now we have the 2006 YouTube Video Awards. . . . So, oh, looky here in the winners’ circle. We’ve got the neato guys who dance on treadmills, Smosh, the Wine Kone and Ask a Ninja.”—New York Times, 27 March>

<2008 “But now looky here. This afternoon, at the ridiculous time of 12.30, Saracens face the Ospreys in the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup6.”—Sunday Telegraph London, 6 April>

<2009 “Well, looky here. Internet radios have been popping up like bailouts.”—The Online Reporter, 15 May>
(quotes from Oxford English Dictionary and Dictionary of American Regional English and archived sources)
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Ken G – June 16, 2009
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Re: lookee

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:55 am

.. dear see .. I don't think it is an "american" thing as such as I can remember my Father using the expression "Lookie here young fella!" .. and his background is Scottish .. but it is not a part of standard Auslish ..

Lookie lookie lookie WoZ
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: lookee

Post by SeeMcSee » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:36 pm

My dad's family are Ulster Irish, arriving PA ca. 1798, there till 1850ish and then on to Illinois and Iowa. A spouse of Quaker background married in there in Illinois, as I recall. Fertile ground for "lookee," I suppose. Thank you for keeping digging, yee'uns.
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Re: lookee

Post by SeeMcSee » Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:38 pm

Maybe from one of my mother's lines...McKnaught...but still feel somehow it's my dad's speech, not my mother's.
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