Winner Winner Chicken Dinner?!?!
April 19, 2006 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Ok, somebody HAS to know where this is from. I've been hearing it a lot lately and am pulling my hair out trying to figure out where this saying originated. If you know where the phrase "Winner winner chicken dinner" came from, please let me know. Thanks!
posted by charlesroper to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
It's a casino stickman's call. Stickmen are the guys who handle craps games and they usually have clever patter, by no means unique to each stickman. The earliest use of it I could find without really trying is from 1995.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:06 AM on April 19, 2006

A few other notes: it's used elsewhere in gambling, too, and probably came to light with the resurgence in televised gambling in the last five years or so and with the resurgence of movies and television shows about Las Vegas.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:12 AM on April 19, 2006

The Sports Junkies, a morning radio show in the Washington, DC area, frequently use a clip of a guy saying this (from the movie Tin Cup) whenever a caller wins a contest.
posted by chos at 10:14 AM on April 19, 2006

Second the stickman. I've been hearing it since I started playing craps in the mid-eighties. "Winner!" is something that the stickman has to call (since the dice have landed at the other end of the table and you may not know what number has come up). Adding some patter makes the game more fun and seems to keep the stupid bets coming.
posted by The Bellman at 10:57 AM on April 19, 2006

For what it's worth, I've only heard it said as "Lobster dinner". Which is better than chicken dinner.
posted by Danelope at 11:09 AM on April 19, 2006

They claim it's Cockney rhyming slang, but there's zero evidence to support that. Not everything that rhymes can be crammed under the ever-inflating roof of "Cockney."
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:42 PM on April 19, 2006

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