Why Is Three In A Row Called A Turkey?

Have you ever been playing a board game or sport and suddenly heard someone refer to getting three in a row as a “turkey?” It is not just a fun expression; there is actually a history and meaning behind why three in a row is often called a “turkey. ” Let’s explore why this phrase has been in use for so long and some other related information we can learn from it.

Why is Three in a Row Called a Turkey?

The term “turkey” is often used to describe an event that occurs three times in a row.

The origin of the phrase is believed to have originated in the bowling lanes of the United States. But, how this term came to be used is still unclear.

History of the Term “Turkey”

The term “turkey” is believed to have come about in the 1930s, when bowling alleys often gave away live turkeys as prizes for extraordinary performances.

If a player was lucky enough to get three consecutive strikes in a single game, they were rewarded a turkey – since this feat was thought of as a remarkable accomplishment. This notion still carries today, especially among Americans, though these days it is more likely that the reward for a “turkey” is a coupon for a hotdog or some other prize instead of a live turkey.

Why Does the Third Strike Deserve Special Recognition?

The significance of the third strike deserves separate attention due to the challenge behind it. To obtain a strike requires a great deal of skill- this feat is not easily achieved!

Players must bowl the ball with tremendous precision and speed to knock down all the pins at once. If this is done three times in a row, then it deserves the recognition – naturally three strikes in one game is something to be proud of, and hence the term of endearment “turkey” was born.


In summary, the origin of the term “turkey” to refer to a feat of three consecutive strikes in bowling is thought to be from the 1930s.

It was named after the prize usually awarded for the accomplishment, which was a live turkey. It has stuck with us to this day to recognize the difficult and skillful feat of getting three strikes in a row.

Citation URL: https://etc. usf. edu/lit2go/75/the-great-gatsby/10203/chapter-6/https://www. bowlingball. com/where-did-term-turkey-come-fromhttps://www. dummies. com/sports/bowling/scoring-in-bowling/

Leave a Comment