The origin of the phrase is unknown for sure, but it can be guessed from various writings and variations on the phrase that it’s related to some form of gambling.
One speculation is that the term “winner winner” refers to a game in which small round cardboard symbols of different color were drawn from an urn, and whoever drew a red (or ladybug) won the hand. There was also a variation called “Winner Chicken Dinner” where cards were dealt face down below the tablecloth as one might at cards, and only those with red backs won.
The phrase “winner winner, chicken dinner” is derived from the American traditions of gambling. In general it means to have won something. Specifically it is a phrase often used by poker players who have that last card needed for their hand to make them a winner and get their greedy little hands on all the loot in the pot – winnings based on number of people playing, but generally this term just means they’ve won and are ready for everyone else to pay up.
The meme’s originator may never be known with complete certainty, but some sources suggest that it was very well accepted among army personnel by WWII because gambling wasn’t prohibited for servicemen at the time as long as each game involved no more than five dollars minted coins
The phrase was coined from the rush of winning a lunch lottery in school.
“Winner winner, chicken dinner!” is an Express US phrase which means you won something. It comes from the old expression “you don’t know what you’re having for dinner until you find out if you’ve won the dinner cash prize in our daily sweepstake game”. In other words, quoting “winner-winner, chicken dinner” in order to buy food without caring what type of food it is. This expression came about as a result of schools struggling to afford healthy lunches for every student on campus and they had to come up with ways to raise money quickly so that they could feed their students.
The origin is traced back to a phrase from an episode of the American animated television series “Rocky and His Friends”.
The scene is set during Pigsy’s circus act which features him running around a barn chasing after hens, trying to catch them before they cross the “finish line” (a chalk outline on the floor) in order to claim said chicken dinner for his prize.
Throughout the course of the show, Pigsy finds himself continually beaten by a clever hen who manages to elude his clutches every time just as she passes over onto his side of this finish line whereupon he has a brief moment to celebrate victory.
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner! – References to the song and dance tradition of Jazz. Widespread publication first in American culture in the early 1900s. The expression does not have a strict set meaning but can be interpreted to mean victory, success, or getting what one deserves and wants.
I’m not entirely certain about the origins of the phrase, but I know it’s been in random use for years and years. The earliest citation in the urban dictionary is from 2003:
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner is a phrase that can be shouted out at any loud moment to signify victory or triumph. It originates from when Las Vegas casino dealers would announce customers who had won on slot machines, and said “winner winner, chicken dinner”. This means that someone has just beaten all odds by winning something big in an instance of chance (most likely gambling), which was preceded by a time where they were struggling against losing for what felt like forever.
“Winner” at a gamble became synonymous with “winner, winner chicken dinner!”, probably as a result of long shots coming through more often than not in the 19th century. It came to mean a victory or success in general, especially the kind that was guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks.
In World War I soldiers would call out “winner, winner chicken dinner!” when they were about to go on an offensive and had good chance of returning home victorious. Soldiers from the Vietnam War used it too when going off and winning battles seemed likely; this is also why many people associate it with gambling winnings or bonus income.
The phrase is an interpretation of the last line of the 1928 Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake Broadway song “I Want a Chicken Dinner”
He wants a chicken dinner, chicken dinner, chicken dinnertime!…’Cause I want a winner, I want a winner, I want a winner-winner-chicken-dinner.
Winner winner, chicken dinner! is an old English proverb meaning that a person taking something and winning is guaranteed to become wealthy at some point.
The phrase originated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1944. In a neighborhood called The Hill District, local legend has it that the phrase means “to win something”. It was most likely coined on March 14th when Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier.
The origin of this term remains unclear but speculation suggests that it originated with gambling losses by African-Americans during Prohibition when they would offer “winner winner chicken dinner” as an enticement to play for money instead of food prizes. It has also been suggested that the term derives from poker players’ taunts directed at opponents who choke and leave lesser hands unplayed in order to catch a sounder one on later rounds of betting.