Winner winner chicken dinner is a phrase exclaimed to celebrate a victory, especially in gambling. It is also the phrase you will see if you win (you won’t) a round of the video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
It comes from cock (rooster) fights … They fought to the death. The cock that won and the respective owner were WINNER & WINNER … pointing to the cock and the owner.
It was common to berate fellow “punters” (gamblers), that they were betting on chicken dinner. (The losing cock was dead … and became Chicken dinner.)
Thus Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Cockney rhyming slang adopted it into other gambling situations. Rhyming slang – Wikipedia You ready to take home chicken dinner? (Proclaiming that they were going to lose.)
If your bird was berated as scrawny or a “sure-fire loser” (was gonna get cooked) … you’d have “to make soup out of it” because there wouldn’t be much left.
You were “in the soup” if you could not back the wager. (in the soup became slang for ‘in trouble’ as you would be if you couldn’t cover your bet.) Cockney slang is often slang on slang and hard to decipher the original origin.
In the 1930s a labor dispute between a candy maker and his employees was arbitrated so that both the company and the employees were considered winners. One of the candies the company made was named Chicken Dinner.
The lawyer in the arbitration grabbed headlines by proclaiming “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” News coverage of the agreement resulting in subtly changing the original meaning relating to gambling.
Guy Fieri, currently a food network host and chef, proclaims it whenever he has just tasted something well above average as a win … “Winner winner chicken dinner … That’s a win in my book.”
Winner winner chicken dinner
There are a few different supposed explanations for this phrase. Two of the most common ones are here: (see #2 and #3)
Online, most Q&A sites, wiki, worldplay, etc quote the Vegas-related story. But without sourcing, and with the phrase having been around for decades, it’s hard to know for sure what the true origins really are.
It would seem logical to conclude that the term got its origin in a way related to some sort of game or challenge/contest in which the prize was chicken.
It also seems reasonable to think that any contest giving out a free chicken dinner, and which develops an actual catch-phrase, is related to gambling of some sort, even if it’s just bingo or something.
The Vegas story sounds as likely as any other, and it’s the most common origin given, and I know that in at least some casinos apparently the phrase is somewhat common (that could just be because the phrase has seen new popularity in recent years and people are familiar with the story of a Vegas origin, though, but there’s no way to know for sure).
What is your best “winner winner chicken dinner” moment?
My best Chicken Dinner was the won where I got really, really lucky.
I was playing with a random squad of three people. We were all landing in Yasnaya Polyana. I decided to split with the parachute open and headed to a different building. While looting, I saw that all three of my teammates had been killed by another squad. I went to the roof of my house and waited there.
Soon three members of their team showed up. I waited and jumped. I killed the farthest one while still in the air. The middle one turns around to look at what happened and gets killed before he can react. The third one, closest to the door of my house now knows I’m there. He tries to run for cover but gets nailed in the back instead.
Mind you, this was all early game. The first circle forms and as fate would have it, I have 1,200 metres to run. And there are no cars around me.
I start running and the fourth teammate decides to engage me from behind while snaking in the wheat fields next to Yasnaya. I take cover and snipe him out with the Kar 98K I found on one of his buddies. One-shot kill.
From there, the long arduous journey of running began. What made the journey even longer was how my game had started lagging now. I could run 25 metres, only to see that I had banded and was still in the same place.
This nearly killed me, but I finally made it into the circle, healed, and went ahead for the final circles of the game. Fate decided that it was to be Pochinki. I encountered no enemies during this.
Now here is where things get interesting.
I finally reach the circle inside Pochinki and I figure that if the hills are a part of the play zone, it would make sense for me to snipe enemies from there seeing how I’m outnumbered 4 to 1. I decide to take a long way around.
Friends, I make my way to the top of the Pochinki hills. I can hear sniper fire around me. But no enemies to be seen yet. I hold my ground until the very final circle of the game. Now there’s only me versus four other people. Possibly a squad. And to make things worse, they get the final circle.
I notice that I’ve got one grenade left. I decide to throw it into the circle and if it doesn’t knock anyone out, I’ll rush in with a hail Mary attempt to score the victory. With that, I throw the grenade a little to my left with four seconds left on the fuse.
The fuse reaches zero and the grande doesn’t explode. I’m confused about what happened now. I find myself wondering whether PUBG added new dysfunctional grenades and jamming rifles in their game for added realism. That’s when my aim gets reset towards the front, the grenade fuse counter pops back on screen and I throw the nade with seven seconds left.
Apparently the game had lagged and banded yet again to waste a perfectly calculated nade throw. I get ready to charge in and face whatever may come at me. That’s when the fuse counter reaches zero and the nade explodes. And all of a sudden, I can see the words Winner Winner Chicken Dinner printed across my screen.
The one Grenade which I threw got lagged and landed in the exactly correct spot to kill all four of the opposing team in one swell move. All that, without me even having to intentionally calculate their potential presence. Luck really, really helped me win that one.
Now, it isn’t the most heroic of Chicken Dinners, but I just found it really funny how gamers usually like to blame their lag for their losses. Now I can blame the lag for my victory as well. XD
Sorry for the long story and thanks for taking the time to read this.
The phrase “winner winner chicken dinner” originates from 1970s casinos that were trying to attract players to underplayed tables. At the time, the most common casino bet was two dollars. Coincidentally, most casinos also offered a standard chicken dinner that was priced just under two dollars.
“Winner winner chicken dinner” was called out by dealers when someone won at their tables, indicating that the player had just won the equivalent of a chicken dinner and attempting to attract others to come to play at the table to have the chance to win the same thing.
It just means “I won.”
But here’s the nerdy analysis: the repetition of the word “winner” is for emphasis and the phrase “chicken dinner” rhymes, thus it is included.
The Dutch Helaas, Pindakaas is operating under the same principle. “Helaas” was the keyword; “Pindakaas” (peanut butter) is only added to make it rhyme. The idiom means too bad/tough titty/that’s’ your problem.
It originated from the Vegas Strip in the 1970s. Back then, many of the casinos used to offer a full chicken dinner – complete with veggies – for less than $2.00, which was also the standard bet.
The dealers used to call out the phrase to attract players to slow-moving tables. If the player won, then they would have enough money to buy a chicken dinner.
Back in the 1927 my great great grandfather ran a cock fighting ring and him and the boys who placed the bet on the right chicken would speak for the chicken who won and yell out “winner winner chicken dinner”. Referring to the dead chicken as there dinner. I know this to be a thing back in the 20’s.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner