Got Turkey?

by / Saturday, 05 December 2015 / Published in Bowling, Latest Posts, Things To Do

Got Turkey?

By now, you are probably sick of eating turkey (actually sick and tired since it’s a proven fact that turkey makes you sleepy). No more turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazzini, turkey noodle soup, etc. for you…hey, you had to get rid of that big bird you cooked last week somehow. But Franklin Family Entertainment Center in historic Franklin, Tennessee asks, “How would you like to see a different turkey?”

We’re talking about a turkey in bowling. “What’s that?” you ask. In bowling lingo, it is called a turkey when you bowl three strikes in a row. Now you may be wondering why call it a turkey rather than a cardinal or a robin or any other bird that is better looking. Well Franklin Lanes is about to give you a little history lesson. (Technically, it may not not be a history lesson since the following explanations are legends, but one may be true.)

  • Legend #1: This first one dates back to the 1800’s when during the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas, the first person to bowl three strikes was awarded a turkey to bring home to his family. (FYI bowling was introduced to America in the 1800s and it was wildly popular with men, women and children alike. At the time, it was called nine pin.)
  • Legend #2: This next theory dates back to the Great Depression. As we all know, this was a time when the economy tanked and over 25% of the people were unemployed. Spending money on entertainment was considered out of the question since people were struggling to put food on their tables. The bowling alley owners had a solution…they started giving away turkeys to anyone who could bowl three strikes in a row. People packed the bowling lanes with hopes of winning the challenge.
  • Legend #3: A baseball fan who happened to be watching people bowl started yelling “You’re Out!” every time someone bowled three strikes. I guess it got a little obnoxious because legend has it that everyone else started yelling “Turkey!” to drown him out as an insult.

Well there you have it, three different explanations as to why three strikes in bowling is called a turkey. I may not be sure which one to believe, but I am sure of one thing, if you get one, it must be a great feeling (one I have yet to know). I guess I better get on over to Franklin Family Entertainment Center and start practicing.

Please visit Franklin Lanes’ website for information regarding their holiday hours at

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