Finger Lickin Good – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to describe a delicious meal? If so, you could use the expression, “finger lickin good.” This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression “finger-licking good” is a complementary statement made after eating tasty food. The phrase was originally the slogan of the world’s favorite fried chicken brand. However, since KFC was rebranded, the saying fell to the wayside, and people use it to describe any delicious food.

You can use the phrase when talking about a delicious chicken dinner cooked at home. Or you can use it when talking about tasty fried fish takeout. After KFC dropped it, some people also put a vulgar spin on the slogan.

There are plenty of memes on sites like 4-Chan and Reddit using the explicit nature of the expression. However, despite the hijacking of the meaning of the expression, it remains a popular way to display appreciation for eating good food.

Example Usage

“Man, that meal was finger lickin good honey. Where did you learn to cook chicken like the Colonel? That was like I was eating real KFC.”

“Thanks for the food, mom. You’re the best cook in the world, and your steak pie is finger licking good every time.”

“That desert was finger lickin good. Do you think there’s any more left, or have the animals at the buffet table savaged it already?”

“I can see why you wanted to host your wedding reception at the venue. The view is stunning, and the food is finger lickin good.”

“Have you tried that new fish and chips spot down the road? It’s finger lickin good, and the best in town for sure.”

“That pizza looks finger lickin good. How about you pull me off a slice there, my friend?”


The origin of the catchphrase “finger lickin good” comes from the slogan of the popular fast-food franchise, Kentucky Fried Chicken. Founded in 1930, Kentucky Fried Chicken grew into one of America’s most successful franchise businesses before collapsing at the end of the 90s and rebranding as KFC.

The original Kentucky Fried Chicken launched an aggressive marketing campaign featuring the slogan in 1956. The idea behind the campaign is that when you finish eating your chicken, you lick your fingers and get the taste of the 11 original herbs and spices in the colonel’s recipe, rounding off the meal.

It was a roaring success, and the brand stuck with it as its catchphrase for decades. Even after its rebranding, the company kept the signature saying for many years before retiring it. The brand eventually put its 50-year-old slogan to rest in 2011.

Finger lickin good was synonymous with the brand for years. After the retirement of Kentucky Fried Chicken in the late 90s, people started using the expression to describe any delicious food. Today, many people use it to describe anything tasty, and it doesn’t have to be chicken.

Phrases Similar to Finger Lickin Good

  • The chefs kiss.
  • Lip-smacking goodness.

Phrases Opposite to Finger Lickin Good

  • That tastes terrible.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Finger lickin good.

Ways People May Say Finger Lickin Good Incorrectly

Some people may use the expression to describe actions that don’t involve food or fingers. Using the saying for vulgar use is common in teenagers, and it even appears in some movies. However, it’s not the original intention of the phrase, and it’s more common to use it in reference to food.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Finger Lickin Good

You can use the phrase “finger lickin good” when describing anything that tastes delicious. The term is most commonly associated with Kentucky Fried Chickens’ old marketing campaigns. However, it can describe any delicious food.

That includes home-cooked food and other types of fast food. It’s a way of expressing your enjoyment of what you’re eating or what you ate, regardless of the kind of food or who made it.

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