Definition of rubber-chicken in English:



North American
  • Relating to a series of dinner and lunch appearances made by a politician or other public figures.

    ‘candidates pleading for money on the rubber-chicken circuit’
    • ‘Bill Clinton talked about Jesus more often than Mr Bush and has spoken in more churches than Mr Bush has had rubber-chicken dinners.’
    • ‘We didn't take any trains, but there were definitely planes and automobiles as we motored from a rubber-chicken lunch to a bad-news urban park in Washington, then jetted to a dinner back at the office in Atlanta, all in about three hours.’
    • ‘‘Wowing them in Davos isn't the same as wowing them on the rubber-chicken circuit,’ says Linda L. Fowler, a government professor at Dartmouth College.’
    • ‘After-dinner speaking is the one constant in his career - television, theatre, teddy bears come and go, but he has always served his time on the rubber-chicken circuit.’
    • ‘For that, he has earned the right to charge $100,000 a pop on the rubber-chicken circuit, spill his guts in a multimillion-dollar book deal, and do who knows what else to rake in the dough.’
    • ‘I've heard he doesn't interview well, he doesn't want to deal with boosters on the rubber-chicken circuit.’
    • ‘And while it was easy to visualize him making uplifting speeches over rubber-chicken benefit dinners, it also was possible to imagine a retired governor coasting through with his feet on the desk.’
    • ‘Still, Edwards is quietly working the rubber-chicken circuit.’
    • ‘Had he survived, in retirement he certainly would have had no difficulty in well exceeding his First Ministerial salary on the rubber-chicken circuit.’
    • ‘For years, he was the darling of the Tory rubber-chicken circuit, the party cheerleader who had more invitations to boost morale by speaking at dinners than all the Conservative grandees put together.’


1950s: so called because of the mediocre food typically served at such functions.