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A Complete Guide to Bowling Terms and Lingo

When it comes to bowling, there are a lot of terms and lingo that go along with the sport. In this article, we will be going over some of the most common terms and definitions so that you can be up to speed on the language of bowling.

Bowling terms that every bowler has to know

Lane The lane is the surface that you bowl on. There are gutters on each side of the lane, and if your ball goes into the gutter, it’s a gutter ball.
PinThe pins are the targets in bowling, and you get points for knocking them down. There are 10 pins, and they are arranged in a triangular pattern.
Pocket The pocket is the part of the lane where you want your ball to go. If your ball goes into the pocket, you get a strike or spare depending on how many pins you knock down.
BallThe ball is what you throw at the pins to try to knock them down. There are different types of balls for different types of bowling (e.g., ten-pin, duckpin).
SplitA split is when you knock down two or more pins with one ball because they were close together.

Funny bowling terms

Some of these terms are quite colorful and can be quite funny to those who are unfamiliar with them.

– Bad break: This is when your ball hits the headpin but still leaves pins standing.

– Big four: When you leave the 4-6-7-10 pins standing, this is known as the “big four”.

– Brooklyn strike: A Brooklyn strike occurs when the ball hits the head pin and then bounces off of the backboard behind the lane and knocks down all of the remaining pins.

– Chicken wing: This term is used to describe a bowler’s poor form, in which their elbow sticks out at an awkward angle.

– Cranker: A bowler who throws the ball with a lot of speed and spin is known as a “cranker”.

– Duckpin: Duckpin bowling is a variation of the sport in which smaller balls and pins are used.

– Flat: If your ball hits the headpin but doesn’t have enough spin to make it all the way around, it will end up going “flat” and not knocking down all of the pins.

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Different bowling terms for Strike

1. Spare

A spare is when all ten pins are knocked down with the second ball. A spare is worth ten points plus the value of the next ball thrown. For example, if you throw a spare in the first frame and then knock down seven pins with your next ball, your score for that frame would be seventeen.

2. Split

A split is when there are two groups of pins remaining after the first ball is thrown. The most common split is the 7-10 split, which is also known as the bedpost or baby split. Splits can be difficult to pick up, so it is important to practice throwing them before you go out on your next bowling date.

3. Turkey

A turkey is when three strikes are thrown in a row. A turkey is worth thirty points plus the value of the next two balls thrown. For example, if you throw a turkey in the first frame and then knock down seven and four pins with your next two balls, your score for that frame would be forty-one.

4. Brooklyn Strike

A Brooklyn strike is when the strike ball crosses over into the neighboring lane and knocks down all ten pins. A Brooklyn strike is worth thirty points plus the value of the next two balls thrown in that same lane. For example, if you throw a Brooklyn strike in the first frame and then knock down seven and four pins with your next two balls in that lane, your score for that frame would be forty-one.

5 . Turkey Shoot

A Turkey shoot is an event where bowlers try to throw three strikes in a row as many times as possible within a certain time limit. The person who throws the most strikes in that time limit is the winner.

Bowling scoring terms

These terms are used to describe different aspects of scoring in bowling.

– Frame: A frame is one turn for a bowler. In ten-pin bowling, there are ten frames in a game. In duckpin bowling, there are twelve frames in a game.

– Pinfall: Pinfall is the total number of pins that have been knocked down by a bowler in a given game.

– Score: The score is the total number of points that have been earned by a bowler in a given game.

– Strike: When all ten pins are knocked down with the first ball, it’s called a strike.

– Turkey: A turkey is when three strikes are thrown in a row. A turkey is worth thirty points plus the value of the next two balls thrown.

Bowling slangs

Bowling slang is a colorful way to describe the game of bowling.

– Approach: The approach is the area at the beginning of the alley where you take your first few steps before releasing your ball.

– Baby Split: The baby split is another name for the seven-ten split. This is one of the most common splits in bowling.

– Back End: The back end is the last few feet of the lane before your ball reaches the pins.

– Bad Break: A bad break is when your ball hits a pin and then goes into the gutter instead of knocking down all of the pins.

– Bedpost: The bedpost is another name for the seven-ten split.

– Big Four: The big four is another name for the four-six-seven-ten split. This is one of the most difficult splits to pick up.

Let’s ball!

I hope now you have a better understanding of some of the most common bowling terms and slang. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow bowlers for help if you’re ever unsure about something. The more you know, the more fun you can have out on the lanes!