How good is your bowling lingo?

You’ve heard bowling terms before: Chicken Wing, Bedpost, Love Tap. These ridiculous sayings have rooted themselves deep into bowling culture and it’s about time you know what some of them mean.

Let’s take a look at some of the most ridiculous bowling terms and their definitions. That way, you can be the coolest person in the alley spitting out phrases like, “Stop that chicken-winging!”

Swiss Cheese Ball

While doing an internet search for this will pull up some delicious looking cheese dishes, in the bowling world, the Swiss Cheese Ball is actually the ball used in pro shops to determine a player’s finger size and span for drilling the perfect custom ball.

Do you have a custom ball? Maybe it’s time you visit the pro shop and stick your hand in the swiss cheese ball!


It’s common to picture venting as, “Why wasn’t that a strike! I shot right down the center of the lane! I’m sorry, I’m just venting.” In the bowling world, venting is actually a technique where a small hole is drilled into the ball to relieve suction on the thumb hole.

Your thumb getting stuck? Consider asking your pro shop to vent your bowling ball.

Grandma’s Teeth

Ever knock down a ridiculous assortment of pins? That’s called Grandma’s teeth. Another similar term is “Bedpost.” That’s when you’ve got a 7-10 split! Good luck getting a spare!

Chicken Wing

You’ve seen it before – and you’ve probably done it as well. Chicken winging is when a bowler’s elbow gets away from his or her body during a swing.

Before releasing the ball, the hand turns in and the elbow pops out. It’s usually followed by a sloppy roll on the ball. Remember, thumb up when releasing the ball and you won’t chicken wing!

Love Tap

We all love the love tap. This is when a tap from a moving pin knocks down another pin. You probably didn’t mean for it to happen, but it never hurts!

Next time you’re at the lanes, try out some of these terms! Just don’t say Grandma’s teeth in front of your grandmother!

What are some of the crazy terms you use in the bowling center? Let us know!