Where did that Come From?

Where did the term “Turkey” in bowling come from?

So have you ever wondered where the term ‘turkey’ came from?

It originated sometime in the late1800’s. Bowling back then was very hard and getting multiple strikes in a row was very difficult. Remember the pins were set up by “pin boys”. Getting 10 pins in EXACTLY the same spot every time was not easy. The bowling ball was simply a large ball of rubber with three holes in it. Anyone who has used an alley ball that has not been drilled for your hand knows how hard it is to throw and control it, even today.

   In order to increase business many bowling proprietors came up with the idea of giving a prize for any bowler who bowled three strikes in a row. The most common prize was a Turkey. It was cheap and welcomed by bowlers. It didn’t take long for a bowler to go from saying, “I got 3 strikes in a row”, to saying, “I got a turkey!”

   While the free turkey disappeared almost a hundred years ago, the phrase has stood the test of time and still remains today as the excited cry of a bowler who bowls 3 strikes in a row. "I got a turkey!"

Where did the term "Brooklyn Side" and "Jersey Side" come from?

Have you ever wondered where the term “Brooklyn Strike” or “Jersey Strike” came from?

Many bowlers use these terms in bowling and don’t know the history behind it. We all know what we did when we do it. Our bowling ball hit’s the 1-2 pocket instead of the 1-3 pocket (For a right hander)

There is no actual date in history as to when it was first uttered. However, with a little detective work we CAN learn where they started. “Brooklyn”, “Jersey”…. Ok, no detective work needed. It started based on a rivalry between New York and New Jersey bowlers.

   When a New York bowler crossed over and hit the pocket on the opposite side (1-2 for a right handed bowler and 1-3 for a left handed bowler), fellow league members would make fun of them by saying they crossed the river into Jersey.

   The term “Brooklyn Side” was a retaliation from New Jersey bowlers who did the same thing. It started out being “You went on the Brooklyn side of the River”. Later it was shortened to “The Brooklyn Side”.

   The entire country has adopted calling a cross over a “Brooklyn Side”. Well, almost the entire country. If you bowl in Long Island DO NOT yell, “Brooklyn Side”. In Long Island the proper term for a cross over is still, “Jersey Side”.

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