What does Lookie-loo mean?

Lookie-loo is an informal US term used for an intrusively curious onlooker for example at accidents, or for a person who looks at something without the intention of actually buying it.

Example: Traffic on the 405 has come to a standstill because of the lookie-loos.


What's the origin of Lookie-loo?

The first registered usage of the word “Lookie-loo” was in 1977 by David w. Myers, where he stated : “… to discourage the thousands of lookie-loos who once jammed the street to get a glimpse of the murder scene.”

Spread & Usage

How did Lookie-loo spread?

Since its appearance,  the word’s meaning itself hasn’t changed, and it still describes civilian bystanders looking around for their own enjoyment often disrespectfully.

First, the expression was picked-up by real estate agents for people who go to open houses without the intention of buying any real estate.

Similarly to other informal terms, “lookie-loo” was popularized and spread with the help of the film industry.

The term appeared in such popular productions as The Simpsons (1989), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), The Office (2005) or in Tuca & Bertie (2019) in the episode “The Open House”.

The phrase is frequently used by journalists as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Reddit, though on the latter, users are using the term with a new meaning, as the synonym of “sneak peek”.

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