Are you looking to work on your bowling lingo? Then you’ve come to the right place! This list of bowling terms will help even the most novice bowler gain a good understanding of common bowler lingo. I’m always trying to improve my bowling glossary, if you having a bowling term that should be listed below please contact me. The best place to practice these bowling terms is at your local bowling alley. Consider joining a bowling league where you can practice your newfound bowling lingo with other bowlers.
ACTION – This refers to the motion of the pins when struck by a bowling ball.
ARROWS – This refers to the arrows that are affixed to a bowling lane and help aid a bowler aim their throw. They are located on the approach and the actual bowling lane area beyond the foul line.
BABY SPLIT – This is a split that occurs when the 2 & 7 pins or the 3 & 10 pins only remain after the bowlers first throw. This is considered to be the easiest splits to pick up.
BAGGER – This is used to identify a string of three or more strikes. An example is four bagger or four strikes in a row.
BED POSTS – This is a split that occurs when the 7 pin and the 10 pin only remain, also known as the 7-10 split.
BIG FOUR – This is a split that occurs when the 4 pin, 6 pin, 7 pin and 10 pin only remain.
BUCKET – This refers to any four-pin diamond cluster.
CLEAN GAME – This is a bowling game in which a bowler has no open frames.
DEUCE – This refers to a bowling game with a score of 200 or more.
DUTCH GAME – Also called a Dutch 200, is when a bowling game scores exactly 200 with alternating strikes and spares throughout the whole game.
FILL BALL – This is the ball a bowler throws in the 10th frame after they’ve bowled a strike.
FOUNDATION FRAME – Refers to the 9th frame of a bowling game.
FRAME – A bowling game has 10 frames. Each frame the bowler gets 2 throws to knock down as many bowling pins as possible.
HANDICAP – A handicap is a score adjustment that allows a less skilled bowler to compete with a more skilled bowler.
HEAD PIN – The 1 pin located at the front of the pin set.
HOUSE – Refers to the actual bowling alley.
HOUSE BALL – Refers the bowling balls available for use by all customers of a bowling alley.
KEGLER – The word for bowler in German.
KING PIN – This is the 5 pin and is considered to be an important part of getting a strike.
LEAGUE – An organized group of bowlers, broken up into multiple teams, who play on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
LILY – This is a split that occurs when the 5 pin, 7 pin, and 10 pin only remain. This split is also known as the sour apple.
LOFT – This is the distance that a bowling ball travels when released from the bowlers hand to the time it lands on the lane.
LOFTING – When a bowler has a huge loft when they release their bowling ball. The bowling community frowns upon this since lofting can damage lanes, bowling balls, and distract other bowlers on their approach.
OPEN FRAME – This refers to a bowling frame in which the bowler doesn’t knock down all the pins in both throws.
PERFECT GAME – This refers to a game when a bowler gets a perfect score of 300 by bowling 12 strikes in a single bowling game.
PICKET FENCE – This refers to a spare when the 1 pin, 2 pin, 4 pin and 7 pin remain or when the 1 pin, 3 pin, 6 pin and 10 pin remain.
POCKET – The pocket is the most desirable location for your bowling ball to strike the pin set on your first throw. The pocket is the spot where you’re most likely to get a strike.
SIX PACK – This is what bowlers call it when you get 6 consecutive strikes.
SLEEPER – This refers to a pin that is set directly behind another pin and is hard to see.
SPARE – This is when a bowler knocks down all 10 pins by using both throws in any one frame.
SPLIT – This is one of the many combinations of pins remaining after a bowler’s first throw of a frame. Usually this results in pins having more than 1 pin distance from one another.
STRIKE – This is when a bowler knocks down all 10 pins on their first throw of a frame.
TAP – This is what bowlers call it when you hit the pins perfectly and still leave 1 pin remaining.
TURKEY – This is what bowlers call it when you get 3 consecutive strikes.
THREE HUNDRED GAME – A perfect bowling game, 12 strikes in a single bowling game.