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

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jul 28 18:32:15 UTC 2006

On 7/28/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> 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.
> * 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]
> -----

"Buzzard" = 'three consecutive splits' comes much later...

1962 _Sunday Gazette-Mail_ (Charleston, W. Va.) 14 Jan. 3C/1 Have you
had three consecutive splits lately? If so, you are eligible for
membership in the "Buzzards Club." A fellow by the name of Thomas
Walters in Houston, Tex., came up with the idea last year of forming a
club for bowlers who suffer the agony of three straight splits. Since
three strikes in a row are a "turkey," he called the splits a

--Ben Zimmer

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

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