Why Is It Called A Turkey In Bowling?

The question of why bowling is sometimes referred to as the “turkey” or “turkey shoot” can take many without surprise. Bowling has a colorful history and it’s been referenced in pop culture, ranging from Barney Rubble of the Flintstones to the Dude in the movie The Big Lebowski.

But have you ever stopped to consider why a bowling game is referred to as a “turkey”? In this article, we’ll take a look at the origins of the term and why it’s such an important part of bowling culture today. So, get ready to get your bowling shoes on and explore why it’s called a turkey in bowling!

Why is it Called a “Turkey” in Bowling?

Have you ever heard a bowler talk about bowling a “turkey” in a game?

But what does it mean when someone talks about a “turkey” in bowling? Let’s explore this term and its origins.

What Does Turkey Mean in Bowling?

In bowling, a “turkey” refers to when someone bowls three strikes in a row. This is also commonly referred to as a “triple.

” The term “turkey” is a kind of slang used in the bowling community.

Why is it Called a Turkey?

The exact origin of this phrase remains unknown, however, there are a few theories about why it’s called a turkey.

The first theory is that the phrase is stemming from Thanksgiving traditions. As wild turkey hunting season typically happens during the fall months, it’s thought that the term “turkey” became associated with the phrase as a result.

Another possibility that the phrase is related to 18th-century German immigrants.

According to the United States Bowling Congress, the German versions of bowling scoreboard would typically feature one notch for each strike, forming a pattern that looked similar to the head of a wild turkey.

Celebrating a Turkey

When someone bowls a turkey, it is often a celebrated event.

From friends patting the bowler on the back to the alley providing items like special pins and balls, it’s a great recognition of achievement. As a result, most bowlers are quite excited when they bowl a turkey.


A “turkey” in bowling typically refers to when a bowler is able to throw three strikes in a row. While the exact origin of the phrase remains disputed, one theory is that it is related to fall hunting season, while another is linked to early German immigrants. Regardless, bowling a turkey is often celebrated in the bowling community.

Citations: https://www. sportsrec. com/788656-why-is-it-called-a-turkey-in-bowlinghttps://www. bowling. com/turkeys/https://usbcongress. http. sll_ssl. prod. sdg. aws/sports/rules/TournmentRules. aspx

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