“What’s cookin good lookin”: Mearning & alternatives + 3 example sentences

An idiom is a saying or phrase that is commonly used in day to day conversation to express certain opinions or ideas. When you understand the idioms in English, you are better able to gain a deeper familiarity of the language. Whilst some idioms can be quite complicated, there are others that are simply no more than greetings. Their meanings have perhaps been lost in time and only their use as greetings have made them popular. Today’s idiom falls along those lines.

What does “What’s cookin good lookin” mean?

Now, there are two meanings to “What’s cookin good lookin”. The first is literal, meaning “What’s cookin good looking” is a phrase used to inquire about food from someone usually of the opposite sex. The second meaning of “What’s cookin good lookin” is simply a greeting in the same vein as “What’s up” or “How’s it hanging”. Using it in this instance simply means you are inquiring about how a person’s day is going.

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Where does “What’s cookin good lookin” originate from?

“What’s cookin good lookin” originates from the era when swing bands were the in thing. It stems from the mainstreaming of African American culture, where rhyming farewells and greetings were used. It is not unlike the Cockney rhyming slang used in East London, England. This slang was generally unintelligible to those outside the crew or social status. However, as with all things language, once it gained popularity, it filtered into mainstream English as a greeting.

3 examples of how to use “What’s cookin good lookin” in a sentence

Using “What’s cookin good lookin” to say hi

In this instance, you say “What’s cookin good lookin” to someone when you want to greet them or ask them how they are doing. It is a way to ask about someone’s general wellbeing, particularly if the person you are asking is of the opposite sex.

“What’s cookin good lookin?”


“Hi, is Sarah in?

Yes, she is in the next room.

Ok, thanks

*proceeds to walk into the next room*

What’s cookin good lookin”

Using “What’s cookin good lookin” to compliment someone

This instance is when you want to tell someone that they look great without hitting it on the nose. You could say “What’s cookin good lookin” to the opposite sex as a way to let them know that they are looking great or are dressed nice.

For example:

“Wow Jane is looking really good today. What’s cookin good lookin”


Jane: Hey John, what do you think of my new outfit?

John: What’s cookin good lookin

Using “What’s cookin good lookin” as a compliment and a riff with an expected response.

In the instance below it is meant as a compliment which can be given as a riff. Usually, there is an expected response to either highlight that you are interested or that you are not. For example

“What’s cookin good lookin?

Grilling and chilling babe”


“What’s cookin good lookin?

Chicken… wanna neck?

The instance above was the standard response for the slang “What’s cookin good lookin”. In this instance “neck” means kissing. This response is common between partners in a relationship, so it would be inappropriate to use this response with someone you don’t have anything with.

Alternatives to “What’s cookin good lookin”

“What’s shakin bacon”

This idiom has the same meaning as “What’s cookin good lookin” in the sense that it is a way to say hi to someone that you are familiar with. For instance, if you walk into the house and see your girl friend you could say:

“what’s shakin bacon?”

“What’s up buttercup”

It is important to note that these idioms are best used in an informal setting, especially with people you know. It would be inappropriate to say this to your boss or someone that you aren’t familiar with. However, you could say the following to a friend of the opposite sex:

“What’s up buttercup?”

“What’s the word, hummingbird”

This idiom follows along the line of the rhythmic slang, where everything flows. This is also used as a greeting. For instance, if a husband was to walk into a room in his house and sees his wife or partner, he could say:

“What’s the word, hummingbird?”

In this instance, using this idiom signifies a level of familiarity that both people are comfortable with. It can also become something that both parties just say to each other when they see themselves.

“What it do, baby boo”

This is a lot more personal and informal, as you would be unlikely to call someone that wasn’t your partner baby boo. It can be seen as a term of endearment mixed in with a greeting.

“Hey, I thought that was you coming down the driveway”

“Yeah it is. What it do, baby boo”