Why is three strikes called a turkey?

@zeloguy (4913)
United States
January 29, 2007 12:31am CST
There are a lot of phrases that are used in bowling, but none more well-known than the 'turkey'... the act of throwing three strikes in a row. Where did this originate?
1 person likes this
2 responses
• United States
1 Feb 07
From my research there doesn't seem to be a conclusive origin. However, some speculate that it comes from the Great Depression. At that time, bowling alleys would hold contests around holidays and give out live turkeys for bowling three strikes in a row. In order to let them know you won, everyone would shout "turkey" when you bowled three strikes in a row.
2 people like this
@zeloguy (4913)
• United States
3 Feb 07
You are absolutely correct. The reason it is called a turkey is a turkey was given away when a person rolled three strikes.
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
3 Feb 07
This is a very good question and would love to know the answer to that as well. This thought never crossed my mind about why three strikes are more are considered a turkey. I have seen people bowl with turkeys on tv and wonder if that is where this came from. Before bowling balls were invented, people used turkeys to knock down pins.