HomeBowlingWhy Is It Called A Turkey In Bowling (Best Overview)

Why Is It Called A Turkey In Bowling (Best Overview)

Why Is It Called A Turkey In Bowling?

What are the important aspects you should know?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s dig into our bowling knowledge!

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Turkey In Bowling

Many ask:

  • Why do they call 3 strikes in a row a Turkey in bowling
  • Why is 3 strikes called a Turkey

Well, we’ve got the answer for you right here!

A “Turkey” is a bowling lingo referring to three consecutive strikes thrown by a player.

This is probably one of the most famous term for bowling players as professionals get them often and even beginners may be able to get them.


The use of the term “Turkey” to refer to three consecutive strikes dates back to the 19th and early 20th centruy.

Back then, due to the inconsistent weight of bowling pins and the overall conditions in which bowling was played, it was quite difficult to get three strikes in a row.

It was actually an achievement.

Whenever Thanksgiving or Christmas was around the corner, bowling alleys would run promotions to have people come and play.

When the game was played during Thanksgiving or Christmas, when a player rolled three strikes in a row, the proprietor would award a live turkey to the first person on each team who scored three strikes in a row.

If you get three strikes in a row, you win a turkey!

With that practice, the term “Turkey” became associated with “three strikes in a row”.

Why Are Three Strikes Called a Turkey

Let’s look at a summary of our findings on why are 3 strikes called a turkey.

The reason why 3 strikes is a turkey is that many years ago, perhaps dating back to the 1900s where bowling tournaments used to reward players with prizes such as food baskets.

In many cases, the food basket contained a turkey!

Over time, turkey became a common prize in bowling tournaments and was awarded to the first player who rolled 3 strikes back-to-back.

In those days, rolling three strikes was difficult as the pins were not of similar eight, not perfectly spaced and the balls were less balanced.

Eventually, they stopped giving turkeys to players in tournaments but the word “turkey” carried on!


Let’s look at a summary of our findings!

Why Is It Called A Turkey In Bowling

  • Historically, bowling alleys used to attract players by offering prizes to those who can roll many strikes in a row 
  • The common prize for scoring 3 strikes was turkey!
  • Rolling three strikes was hard and for a player to win a turkey, it was quite an achievement
  • Eventually, the proprietors stopped giving away turkeys and, in the bowling lingo, we continue to call three strikes a turkey
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Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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