Finger-licking good

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Finger-licking good is an American term that was first used in the 1950s. We will examine the definition of finger-licking good, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Finger-licking good describes something that tastes excellent, something delicious. The idea is that when someone eats the item  he wants to get every morsel, and therefore licks his fingers. The expression finger-licking good first appeared in the 1950s. It was sparked by an Arizona commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In it, an actor licked his fingers after eating some fried chicken. When a viewer called to complain about the action, the actor explained, “Well, it’s finger-lickin’ good.” This simple phrase was trademarked by the Kentucky Fried Chicken company in 1956, and was the official slogan until the trademark expired in 2006. The phrase finger-lickin’ good proved quite popular, and has passed into mainstream American English to mean something delicious. Note that the term is usually rendered as finger-lickin’ good reflecting a Southern vernacular, but the Oxford English Dictionary lists the term finger-licking on its own to mean delicious.


The incredibly successful marketing campaign resulted in a now annual tradition to bite into finger lickin’ good KFC. (Forbes Magazine)

Feast over eight pieces of finger lickin’ good fried chicken, spaghetti, rice and drinks and cap it off with their creamy choco mousse cake! (The Philippine Star)

To make sure you don’t collapse after an hour or two of grinding to Movin’ Too Fast (CLASSIC), bottomless finger lickin’ good fried chicken will be up for devouring from the lovely people at Bird. (The Evening  Standard)

These baked baby back ribs are mouthwateringly juicy, fall off the bone tender and when slathered with tangy barbecue sauce, just plain finger-lickin’ good! (The Tallahassee Democrat)