'turkey' in bowling (was Re: Golden Sombrero (baseball slang))

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 28 16:42:43 UTC 2006

On 7/23/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> Speaking of positive and negative terms for numerical sporting feats,
> bowling has "turkey" for three consecutive strikes and "(turkey)
> buzzard" for three consecutive splits. I see "turkey" was discussed
> here briefly back in 2003.

Some early cites:

* turkey, n. = 'a run of three consecutive strikes'

1901 _Chicago Daily Tribune_ 12 Apr. 6/7 Holmes of the Underwriters
made five strikes at the finish and followed with a "turkey" at the
beginning of the second.
[HNP Doc ID 425701611]
1901  _Chicago Daily Tribune_ 19 Apr. 6/7 In the previous game he
finished with a turkey, so that in all he made fourteen strikes in
[HNP Doc ID 425710221]
1901  _Chicago Sunday Tribune_ 28 Apr. 19/7 To make up for these they
bunched their strikes, doubles and "turkeys" being frequent. In the
last game Thompson, Leabel, and Hanna made "turkeys" in succession.
[HNP Doc ID 425721561]

* turkey, v. = 'to bowl three consecutive strikes'

1910 _Indianapolis Star_ 3 Jan. 8/6 The first ball in the meet was
rolled by O. Tucker and he drew a strike, then doubled and turkeyed.

* turkey out, v. = 'close out a game with three consecutive strikes'

1908 _Mansfield (Ohio) News_ 19 Feb. 8/4 In a sensational finish both
turkeyed out.
1911 _Indianapolis Sunday Star_ 29 Jan. (Sporting) 1/1 A split and a
railroad in the last game stirred him up and he turkeyed out for
eighth place, the second highest mark of the day.
1911 _Washington Post_ 4 Feb. 8/5 Mel Knox, the veteran champion of
Indiana, needed to turkey out to win Blouin's leadership away from the
diminutive Blue Islander.
[HNP Doc ID 244213922]

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list