Bizarre Bowling Lingo

BowlingEvery sport has a lingo players and fans use and it’s generally pretty easy to catch on to when you spend some time around it, at least for most sports. Bowling doesn’t seem to be one of those sports though. It seems like bowling has an endless amount of jargon which makes my head spin like a bowling ball! A lot of the terms make sense, but some of them are just too weird that I had to share!

First things first, I didn’t realize how many different ways the bowling pins could be left standing after the bowler’s first turn, known as a leave in bowling lingo, until I started learning what they were called. Here are a couple of the odd ones:

Bowling Pin Numbers

Baby Split – A 2-7 or 3-10 split.

What in the world does a bowling leave have to do with a baby?

Bucket – A diamond-shaped, four-pin cluster. (Example: 1-2-3-5)

Since when does a bucket and a diamond look the same?

Greek Church – A split that leaves three pins on one side of the lane and two on the other. (Example: 4-6-7-8-10)

Does this leave count as going to church?

Lily or Sour Apple – A 5-7-10 split.

Can’t someone just say sucks to be you to the bowler instead?

Sleeper – A pin directly lined up behind another making it hard to see. (Example: 1-5)

Is the hidden pin taking a nap?

Seriously, where do they come up with these names? They are so off the wall, but then the lingo for bowling equipment is all relatively normal, which doesn’t make much sense. Is it just me or do you guys find the bowling lingo bizarre too?


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