Query: "Winner, winner, chicken dinner"

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun May 11 20:05:46 UTC 2008

You can find it used in Usenet(Google Groups) from January, 1997.
(scroll down to the last sentence)

A more tempting post on Usenet was from a poster who said/intimated that
this was a saying from the craps/stickmen in Las Vegas from 20 years ago.

Sam Clements

----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Zimmer" <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2008 2:37 PM
Subject: Re: Query: "Winner, winner, chicken dinner"

> On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 2:00 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
> wrote:
>> At 10:47 AM -0500 5/11/08, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>>>One of my students has asked me about "Winner, winner, chicken
>>>dinner" -- something I had never heard of before.   Would anyone
>>>known anything about it?  I asked my student to e-mail me what he
>>>had told me so I could forward it accurately to ads-l.  Any
>>>information/insight about it would be much appreciated.
>> I don't know about the "at least 20 years" part, but it's been
>> popularized over the last couple of years (long enough for it to have
>> become tiresome) by one of the hosts on ESPN's SportsCenter, who uses
>> it typically as a voice-over accompanying the showing of a walk-off
>> hit in the bottom of the last inning in a baseball game.
> That's a catchphrase of John Buccigross -- I don't recall hearing any of
> the
> other SportsCenter hosts use it. Wikipedia says he's been an ESPN anchor
> since
> 1996.
> --Ben Zimmer
>>>[e-mail from student]:
>>>I'm emailing you the question I had about "Winner, winner, chicken
>>>dinner."  I was wondering where it arose.  All I know of it is that
>>>it (the saying) has been used by sportscasters for at least twenty
>>>years, and that it's well-known enough that there are t-shirts with
>>>the saying emblazened on them:
>>>I've heard that the origin may have something to do with sports
>>>betting in the World War Two era, but I haven't found a reputable
>>>source that acknowledges this.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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