A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 12, 2009
“It ain’t no thing but a chicken wing”

Outkast’s “Ain’t No Thang” (1994) popularized “Ain’t no thang but a chicken wing” (or “Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing"). The phrase means that something is “no big deal” or “no problem” or “no sweat.” “It ain’t no thing but a chicken wing” is cited in print from 1988. “Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string” is cited from 2000.

Duke Ellington’s classic “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” (1931) was perhaps an inspiration for the “thing/chicken wing” rhyme.


Urban Dictionary
Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing
Used to describe an event, object or person which is of little importance. Stems from the fact that chickens (at least those bred as food) have wings but can’t fly, rendering the wings unimportant. Can be used in place of a reassuring “don’t worry about it” statement but often used as a sarcastic retort suggesting that which is being described is really not as important as the person saying it believes
Dave: Man I can’t beleive I have to work on Saturday
Steve: Hey man, it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing
OR
Dave: I got toally carved up by some d*ckhead white van at the roundabout
Steve: So? It ain’t no thing but a chicken wing

by 3Shirts Dec 19, 2007

Urban Dictionary
aint nothing but a chicken wing on a string
insignificant mild inconveiniance.
“man, i just crashed my porsche 911 into a tree swerving to miss those migdets....”
“that sucks!”
“eh, aint nothing but a chicken wing on a string”
“your taking this well”
“no, im dead inside....”

by Daver334 Nov 3, 2006

YAHOO! Answers
Name that tune.. outkast… ain’t no thang but a chicken wing?
it goes somethin like..
aint no thing but a chicken wing.. we havin a smoke out in the dungeon with the mary jane.. its just the pimps playas mac daddies east point…

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
aint no thang

Wikipedia: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Ain’t Got That Swing)
“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a jazz standard. The music was written and arranged by Ellington in August 1931 during intermissions at Chicago’s Lincoln Tavern and was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records (Br 6265) on February 2, 1932. Ivie Anderson sang the vocal and trombonist Joe Nanton and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges played the instrumental solos. The title was based on the oft stated credo of Ellington’s former trumpeter Bubber Miley, who was dying of tuberculosis. The song became famous, Ellington wrote, “as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time.” Probably the first song to use the phrase “swing” in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the swing era by three years. The Ellington band played the song continuously over the years and recorded it numerous times, most often with trumpeter Ray Nance as vocalist.

Google Books
The World We Created at Hamilton High
By Gerald Grant
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
1988
Pg. 97:
Tron Dee in the place to nb once again. Because it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.

14 October 1993, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “New York Diary” by Dennis Duggan, pg. 30:
“Ain’t nothin’ but a chicken wing,” said Eduardo Ortiz, alias Angel Torres, 27, an ex-drug-dealer from Bushwick. “That means it’s not hard.”

Entertainment Weekly (May 27, 1994)
Music Review
Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994)
Outkast

By James Bernard
If there is such a thing as Southern hip-hop, you’re not going to find it in Arrested Development’s suspiciously peppy, idealized version of down-home. You’ll get closer with Outkast’s lazy, sprawling grooves on Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, its casual funk forged around lines like ‘’ain’t no thang but a chicken wing.’’

10 July 1994, Press (Atlantic City, NJ), “Leaps and Bounds” by Yvette Craig:
“It ain’t nothin’ but a chicken wing. But we all gotta do this thing. All right! All right!”

Google Books
Concourse
By S. J. Rozan
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
1995
Pg. 220:
“Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing,” Snake said.

Google Groups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling
Newsgroups: rec.sport.pro-wrestling
From: SECrumancer
Date: 2000/01/21
Subject: HHAHAHAHAAHAH.... Mark Madden on wcw.com!!!

And I quote from Madden at wcw.com:
“Not many know this, but I grew up around 110th Street in Harlem myself. I lived on 108th Street, to be exact. My family moved to Pittsburgh when I was just out of high school, but I grew up with the
Harlem Heat guys. No big thing, just a chicken wing on a string at Burger King, but I’m from the ‘hood. “

Google Groups: alt.rave
Newsgroups: alt.rave
From: “RaverSavior”
Date: 2000/05/06
Subject: Re: My first rave....

aint no thing but a chicken wing on a string

Google Books
The Bourbon Street Musicians
By Kathy Price and Andrew Glass
New York, NY: Clarion Books
2002
Pg. 13:
“Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing,” returned the hound, dragging from the hole a sorry-looking bone.

EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Forums
decem
17-Mar-2002, 01:10 PM
who the puts a chicken wing on a ing string.. and why the does the phrase “ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string” represent an activity that is easily accomplished..????

Google Books
Eat This Book:
A year of gorging and glory on the competitive eating circuit

By Ryan Nerz
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin
2006
Pg. 208:
“We have heard time and time again, and I quote, that it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.”

WordReference Forums
kimma
5th September 2007, 12:23 AM
Re: Ain’t no thing, but a chicken wing
this is just an expression that means....it’s no big deal or it’s nothing…

Google Books
Capital City
By Urban Griot (Omar Tyree)
Urban Books
2008
Pg. 161:
It ain’t no thing but a chicken wing, you know what I’m saying?

Link Buffalo
Do chicken wings on a string really exist?
By gitterdun • June 25, 2009
-doozer- asked:
Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string ya heard?

it’s a bloggy blog world
Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing on a string from Burger King
(...)
~ by joshlos on August 2, 2009.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 12, 2009 • Permalink